Where I'm From

January 20, 2012

I am from books,
     from chalkboards and business suits at the bank.

I am from the rock sidewalk alongside the green grass.
     (Lush, thick,
          it felt like carpet.)

I am from the crepe myrtle,
     the oak tree whose roots run deep,
     just like mine.

I'm from Christmas stockings and Easter baskets,
     from Batchelors and Meltabargers,
     the strong-willed and the meek-and-mild.

     from quit your crying! and let me kiss it.

I'm from Jesus Loves Me with a hand cast in plaster
     and children's choir at church.

I'm from Shady Grove and Melba Denton Lane,
     cinnamon rolls and turtles.

From  Lee overalls on Grandpa who toiled in the garden,
Gram's fingers sliding fabric through the green Singer.

In the barrister case was a green metal box
     filled with old pictures, stacks of memories
     sealed with a hinged lid.

I am from stories and people --
     precious then and now --
     carrying on traditions with my own.

Last week in our writing workshop, I used George Ella Lyon's original "Where I'm From" as a mentor text.  (What you've just read above is my finished product.)  Most sophomores, at least in our district, have spent very little time playing with writing.  One of my goals in our workshop time each week is to provide time for that.  They love it and they wow me with their insight and their word choice and their subject matter.  Kids have a lot to say.  I'm finding that by giving them opportunities to be creative once a week, they approach their academic writing with a better attitude and effort and they end up with better papers.

Here's Ms. Lyon herself reading her poem.  Have I mentioned that I love southern literature? 

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images