Below is a poem inspired by a poem with the same title written by George Ella Lyon. Because of the holiday of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be a good idea to look back on where I have come from and what I am thankful for. I am by no means a poet, nor do I pretend to be. However, I greatly enjoyed Lyon's poem (albeit a much more concise and poetic one) and could not resist the urge to reproduce it from my own experiences and in my own way. I found the exercise of thinking back on my childhood home, phrases I remember hearing, the characteristics of those important to me, and traditions I grew up with enjoyable and engaging and would highly recommend that anyone try their hand at doing the same. I think when we think back on our life experiences, we may find that there is much more to be thankful for than we sometimes realize. Also, who knows, maybe you're a poet and you don't even know it...
WHERE I'M FROM
I am from hardwood floors and antique decorations,
From long countertops and oversized dining room tables.
I am from scrapbooks, family portraits, and "artwork" of horses and dogs
That I vaguely remember painting alongside my siblings.
I am from baseball bedsheets and cowboy wallpaper,
From shared rooms and small closets.
I am from wheat bread and Honey Nut Cheerios,
From bulk purchases and fend-for-yourself dinners.
I am from "Shouldn't you be in bed?" and "If mama aint happy aint nobody happy,"
From "Wait until your father gets home" and "Separate rooms, now!"
I am from middle names when you're in trouble, spanking spoons,
And wearing multiple layers of underwear to lessen the sting.
I am from faster last laps and hands up on defense,
From 4th quarters won and undefeated seasons.
I am from "Did your mom help you with this?"
And "Put away that book, we're not going over that in class today."
I am from sound advice and the man of the house,
From patience, wisdom, generosity, and faithfulness.
I am from the person who knows what's best and what's right,
From the winner of arguments and the loser of P.I.G.
I am from persistent patience and a quiver full of arrows,
From kindness, gentleness, meekness, and love.
I am from the person who knows multiplication tables and multiple recipes,
From the lover of her children and the fighter of her children's enemies.
I am from summers at kamp and Christmases at home,
From games on a board, table, and court.
I am from matching pajamas on Christmas Eve
And wearing anything but pajamas on Christmas Day.
I am from Miracle on 34th Street and Elf,
From secret Santa and stockings first.
I am from family dinner and movie nights,
From shows everyone can watch and fun for all ages.
This is where I am from and what made me who I am now,
I pray that you may know something similar somehow.