Where I’m From

I come from eucalyptus-lined dusty dirt roads
with dust devils swirling by
the sun shining bright and an above-ground pool
in the backyard, adjacent to the garden
where carrots grow, next to dill and pickling cucumbers,
purple green beans and tomatoes red and fat,
and a little black dog runs around barking

The confident me was born the youngest child of five,
with three older sisters and
a brother who fought in Vietnam, to parents who
were older than those of most of my friends,
an auto mechanic with his own shop where I would play,
then go to the DQ down the way for a Mister Misty,
and a cancer survivor who debeaked chickens for a living

I mostly remember living in the same house
with the sister three years older,
in my purple bedroom filled with a menagerie
of stuffed animals, and an Easy Bake Oven that baked
tiny cakes with just a light bulb, plus trucks and Barbies,
and all the library books I could fit in my handlebar basket

The fearful me was born of rape endured in a new town,
without eucalyptus trees or delicious garden patch,
on a day when everything changed and stuffed animals
no longer provided solace and books were not
escape enough from the darkness that descended,
a darkness buried deep, like a seed to never sprout

The victorious me was reborn in faith and mercy,
learning to forgive from a dream so surreal, but I’d swear
it was real, filled with truth and healing,
an end to the guttural scream echoing in my mind,
telling me to fear, to hide, to die
a scream that was a lie,
but by the Truth I survive

I’ve grown as mom to an artist, a sensitive soul
who makes me laugh, causes me to shake my head in disbelief
or roll my eyes at some ridiculous story that I fear
will never, ever end, but shows me a heart of compassion
toward the less fortunate, buying lunch for a homeless man
and taking a selfie with him, with blue hair sometimes

I come from joy and suffering, winning and grief,
death and life, mistakes and failure, and everything in between
are all that make me, well, me


The prompt at NaPoWriMo.net today is to write a poem of origin. An example given was Safia Elhillo’s Origin Stories. This is my attempt at my own origin story. I left out a lot, but it took me over 50,000 words to write it all down, and that’s a few too many words for a poem.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


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