Monday, September 21, 2009

Where I'm From


I am from a sky blue house with green hedges out front,
from a bedroom with black and white wallpaper and a thin red bedspread.
I am from Leon and Linda,
from five brothers and two sisters
I am from Utah,
from lake water,
a sparkling blue boat rocking against the shore
I am from faith and family prayer,
from Sundays in dresses handed down from my sisters
and creamed tuna on toast.
I am from the back seat of the red station wagon
where I rode facing backward,
watching where we've just been,
from the cream-colored couch with blue piping
where my father told me I was smart.
I am from Saturday morning and a long list of chores,
from daydreams of walking on the ceiling.
I am from middle school drama
and high school disappointments,
from english class
and a boy who changed my life.
I am from my sister's red Honda and mix tapes
and always wishing I were older,
from Billy Joel's music blasting from the living room stereo,
my mother's distinct fingers and her thin wedding band,
from my father's hands, calloused, scrubbed clean from grease.
I am from worry about money,
and a habit of asking for too many things.
I am from bran muffins with peaches,
graham crackers and milk,
and pumpkin pie.
I am from all-night phone calls,
and gentle kisses.
I am from the stage,
the pen,
the keys of a computer.
I am from curly hair and thick ankles,
from stubborn,
loud,
giving
and wise.
I am from bedroom floors covered in clothes,
hidden birthday presents found with clues,
and fights with a little brother I never thought I'd love.
I am from lessons learned the hard way,
and a gift for looking on the bright side,
from all I was so sure of
and all the surprises that proved me wrong.

This was a writing exercise based on this poem by George Ella Lyon.  Try your own!

19 comments:

Jesse C said...

I absolutely love it. I'm gonna miss that house. Mom and Dad are closing with the buyer today.

Kelli said...

That was fabulous. I loved it Tiff. Thanks for sharing. I wish I was brave enough to try my own as you suggested. Not quite there yet. You are my inspiration.

Angie said...

Very good. I love it. Maybe I'll try my own...we'll see.

Leslie said...

That was seriously beautiful! Thanks for capturing, so simply, yet so profoundly, so many childhood memories.

It was even better than the poem I sent you this morning. ;)

Becky said...

Tiff! That was beautiful! You are so good!

Omgirl said...

Wow, that is awesome! I love it. It's fun to think of all the things that made us who we are.

Shua said...

You're awesome. I'm going to copy this. :)

April said...

I loved this. You are truly a gifted writer. I love reading your blog.

MiaKatia said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love how you share these glimpses into your life.

Anonymous said...

Brought a tear to my eye, and put me in a reminising stage - just as the sun is beginning to set, and just as I've wrapped myself in a warm cozy blanket due to the approaching chill of fall weather! What a nice way to end the day!

heidi b

Soul-Fusion said...

again, so good. I wish I was a better poet (err, could write a poem at all) but maybe I'll take a stab at this.

annie said...

amazing, as usual

Kami said...

I love this post! We really are who we are from Where We Came. I want to give this one a try. If only I could write like Tiff.

tiburon said...

That is just lovely. Really really lovely.

lorrie said...

Hi Tiffany - I got your CD today, thank you so much. Haven't had a chance to listen yet, but I will on my way home from work (job) while I go to my second job, grocery shopping, bank, post office, etc., etc., etc.

Again, thanks
Lorrie from Iowa

lizzie said...

loved it. i miss you.

aimee heff said...

A poem on self-love and acceptance. I totally love it. I had to reread it.

On my to-do list: Write one of my own.

shannon p. said...

Wow, that was beautiful. I love memories being brought to life, thank you for sharing so many fun details of you. The one I love/hate the most is the thick ankles, that must be a Crowley trait, and I think EVERY girl in the family has them! (since I hate my own cankles, I've been known to observe the cankles of others and I can tell you young and old alike, there is not a good ankle to be found...but please tell me if I'm wrong!)

marta said...

your poem conjures so many memories. i really love the details you've included; lake water, high school disappointments, billy joel blasting, mix tapes.. we are not all that different. youth seems to be understood by all.

my creative writing teacher had us do this very same assignment, read my version here. you've inspired me to write another one.

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