Where I’m From

I am from rope swings hanging from a cherry tree in the backyard,
from Adam’s peanut butter
and Easter dresses that stand up on their own.

I am from a modular home broken in half,
cement ponds and tennis courts,
and small fingers in tree bark crevices as I climb to pine-scented heights.

I am from rhododendrons and daffodils celebrated by parades and lemonade stands,
from volcanos that rest,
and gray beaches littered with rocks and worn down shell fragments.

I am from whirlwind Christmases of family, presents and made-from-scratch peanut brittle, popcorn balls and fudge.
From a long line of independent women,
from Redmonds and Elliotts and Waters and Allens.

I am from the lovers of sarcasm and deniers of conflict.

From stories read aloud at bedtime of “some pig,” a mouse with a motorcycle, a swan with a trumpet, and a little house on the prairie.

I am from Jesus, loves me this I know,
a father coming to faith one year to the date before I was born,
and an open Bible next to an empty coffee cup each morning.

From Pentecost, grace, miracles and faith.

Dressing-up for chapel Wednesdays,
summer camp moments alone with Him in the woods,
and the assurance that God is good, all the time.

I’m from a city whose name you only pronounce correctly if you’re from there,
Grandma Bev’s famous baked beans and potato salad {which I discovered as an adult were store-bought and doctored},
and the aroma of homemade crumble top apple pie a la mode.

From a sister who got her head stuck in a bridge,
a brother who buried the Christmas tree upright and jumped the riding lawn mower,
and that time I was really, really bad.

I am from diaries and journals filled with secrets and feelings,
growing from kitten covers with locks to simple strips who are much more trusting.
In boxes and albums filled with vacations and holidays,
dusty with storage and neglected except for new beginnings and ends.

In looking back, I like where I’m from.

Taking a cue from Stephanie @ Adventures in Babywearing. This is based on the original poem Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyons. You can use this template if you want to make one, too.

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  1. Jason says:

    “I’m from a city whose name you only pronounce correctly if you’re from there”

    Ok, this made me laugh out loud. Literally. Not in an internet “LOL” kind of way. :)

    Great post.

    1. Melissa says:

      Yay! That’s always fun! It’s true though. When people find out I’m from Seattle they almost always tell me about this strange city that has a really hard name to pronounce. When I say it they go: Yay! That one! :) Haha!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! I’m from church peanut brittle and a cherry tree too.


    1. Melissa says:

      I loved that cherry tree. It had the perfect crook for me to sit in and read. {sigh}

  3. Haley says:

    I LOVED this! I can’t describe how much! So wonderful!

    1. Melissa says:

      Yay! It was fun to think back. And, it totally made me homesick for Washington. Good thing there’s only two weeks left! :)

  4. Tony Alicea says:

    I love these kind of reflections. Represent where you’re from!

    I’m a military brat so it’s tough to really claim any one place as where I’m from.

    1. Melissa says:

      My husband moved a lot as a child too. We met as teenagers in Washington, so I always forget that he spent a large portion of his childhood in the south. Every once in a while the southern boy comes out in him. Haha!

  5. Katie Bulmer says:

    I totally love this! I think I’m gonna nab that template. I’m guessing this is from the good ole south where I am from too :)

    1. Melissa says:

      Do it, and post the link here in the comments so we can all read it! :)

  6. Moe says:

    Very nice. I’m from a place with rats with wings (pigeons) and dirty hot dogs. But boy do I love this city!

    1. Melissa says:

      I still need to visit your city, Moe…even if you do have flying rats. :)

  7. This is a really cool idea! Loved this. Thanks Melissa.

    1. Melissa says:

      I guess it was a meme that went around a few years ago. I really enjoyed doing it! :) Thanks for stopping by, Jason.

  8. This is lovely…it encapsulates many of the same sorts of things I love about where I’m from. :)

  9. Haley says:

    I love the flavor of where you’re from. This is lovely! :-)

  10. Suzy Q says:

    We did this one a little whiel back too.
    I love this poem it’s just so colourful.
    Love this…
    “Grandma Bev’s famous baked beans and potato salad {which I discovered as an adult were store-bought and doctored}”

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks, Suzy Q! :) I just had potato salad at lunch yesterday, and missed my grandma’s doctoring. Haha! :)

  11. Ann Kroeker says:

    This is fantastic! I’ve seen this poetry prompt here and there for years, but never acted on it. I started a draft, a bit long, inspired by yours. Thank you for the idea. I’m also linking this to Charity Singleton’s There and Back Again project to promote community within TheHighCalling. Here’s the link to Charity’s:


    And here’s mine: http://annkroeker.com/2011/06/30/there-and-back-again-where-im-from/

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