This poem was an assignment for my Social and Cultural Issues class; we were tasked to write a poem about where we’re from and this is what was inside of me and desired a birth of sorts. I loved writing it and wanted to share it with y’all – that’s right. I say y’all. I’m a Southern lady. I’m irritated by the format but wordpress won’t let me make it look how I want it to, but maybe that’s the point of words – they paint the picture for you?
Where I’m From
I am from the trees of Southeast Texas, born to the Wild Oak and raised in the Magnolia (but more specifically from Hap and Kim).
Boiling pot of Italian spices, thrown in with a mix of intentionality and thoughtlessness, creating such sweet aroma and a taste that can never be duplicated.
The Gulf of Mexico, swimming in shrimp – just try it Courtney, you’ll like it (gross tasting rubber no matter how much butter you use).
I am from the land of ‘y’all,’ ‘bless her heart,’ and Mimi’s deep freezer full of only God knows what, but anything in there could go in the fryer at a moments notice.
Heather on the bus, calling me names, teasing me for looking different, teaching me that who I am is not okay.
Driving, always driving, at least an hour to get anywhere, to see anyone. Why do we live here? Why would you move us here? – So you can say you’re from somewhere.
Football fields and volleyball courts, from the choir room to the stage – always playing a role and hoping to find out who I really was. There are always shadows to hide in when you’re on the stage.
Cool, wet waters of the summer pool, living for the days without shoes and without rules –but specifically without shoes – drinking in the thick, hot, wet air that hangs on you like another layer.
I am from the darkness, hiding, hoping, wishing someone would come find me.
I am from first, third, and fifth weekends with Dad and brother, pretending it’s not weird that Mom isn’t there but home baking because she hates being alone.
“Remember who you are,” Dad would say (and still does). Does he know I’m still trying to figure it out? Would he love me if he knew who I want to be?
From the pews of green cloth, growing in grace because of how great Thou art. Good thing I could walk there, barefoot if I so choose.
Wishing I could be a boy so that I would be seen by my family and feel like I was
to carry the Warren name.
I am from the home of segregation, unconsciously passed down
from my father,
from his father,
and from his father;
where the colorful humor shared in casual conversation reflected the fear of differences in the Other – but that’s just how we were raised, Courtney.
Courtney, you can’t date PJ because he’s…. well, he’s different. Maybe that what I like about him, you never let me decide because of your own shame. Now I carry your shame as my own.
I am from the land of
never enough, always too much…
be silent, speak up…
stand out, blend in…
go away, come here…
Land, thy name is confusion and I am your queen.
I am from thunderstorms and rain showers of majestic magnitude, dancing in puddles past the age of reason
And I still don’t like wearing shoes in the summer.