Where I’m From
I’m from Birkenstocks, books, and teapots; and a basket of un-mated socks; from baklava and Christmas cookies; from sweet ripe blackberries and tart huckleberries – picked every summer.
I’m from thousands of brightly colored Legos scattered around the living room, my three siblings and I building castles and boats. “Has anyone seen a piece that looks like this?” My mom discovers a stray piece…in the middle of the night…in her bare feet. “Kids!”
I’m from sand in the bathroom, dirt from the garden, and pine needles in the carpet.
I’m from pansies and poppies, rosemary and nasturtiums – with leaves as big as dinner plates. I’m from bird feeders scattering seed all over the yard. And the cats often scattering the birds.
I’m from my grandpa, telling funny stories of growing up until tears are streaming down his face. And ours too. “Bean, beans the American fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!”
I’m from my grandma, making clam fritters from memory, after a long day of clamming.
I’m from Uncle Eldon and Aunt Betty, and from great grandmother Jayne, with poor eyesight, who once sat talking to a wooden Indian. I’m from great aunt Paula, great uncle Axel, and Inge and Arne in Denmark. So many relatives I never met, but who had such influence on me.
I’m from only one bathroom and five people getting ready for church. “We’re going to be late again.” “Shotgun!”
I’m from church potlucks and game night: Take Off, cards and Scrabble. Don’t know a word? “Look it up!”
I’m from fun and games, and “it’s not fair.” From all of this, and more.
That's probably the best poem I ever wrote. Can I be done with poems now?
Another class assignment, obviously, is to tell stories. I have to tell stories to three "audiences" each week. An audience has to be at least one person. Thanks to my roommate for listening to the story about why dogs hate cats.
Next I tracked down two little girls - a six year old and her younger sister. They were in a pretty wild mood but settled down enough to listen to two stories. The older girl guessed everything that was going to happen in the tailor story though! They wanted to hear more stories but I didn't have any...so they told stories. Stories that they made up. That went on and on and had no point. And then they got more and more riled up. The older girl decided that we were buddies now which meant she could try to attack me and steal my glasses. Kids. I just don't get them sometimes.
Lastly I went to tell stories to the little girl in my house and her parents. She reacted much better. She listened well and joined in at her parts. And at the end she wrapped her arms around me and thanked me. It was very cute.
I get to learn two new stories tomorrow and will have to tell them next week. So if anyone wants a story, come on over...