(apparently I have a problem with commitment when it comes to blog memes. i loved this one right away when i first saw it, but it's taken me months to finally finish it. i love it because it's the kind of thing one can write again and again and it nevers comes out the same way twice. this version tends to weigh heavily on the southern part of my "roots". maybe i'll do another one focusing on my yankee family another day...)
I am from long-handled ice tea spoons,
From Aqua Net, Cover Girl and Vicks Vapor Rub.
I am from white-columned front porches, the shady refuge at the end of a sun-baked, flesh-sizzling slate walk.
I am from the dogwood tree,
The purple iris,
The towering boxwood
(all shot through with wisteria, the purple-scented parasite)
I am from music lessons, arguments, apologies and sharing.
From Fetters and Wilkinses and Olivers-- the long-livers and hard-workers and fast-talkers.
We raise-our-hand, do-unto-others, work-first-play-later
I'm from Sabbath rests, hymn-singing, and posters of sad African children, reminding me of how much I have and the importance of sharing a cup of cold water to drink.
I'm from the Old Dominion, The Mother of Presidents, and I can whistle Dixie in my sleep. I eat my greens with bacon, my grits are extra buttery and my biscuits light-as-a-feather.
I'm from the snapping turtle that missed daddy's toe,
The time we didn't run away from home
And brothers who weren't lost in the cornfield after all.
I am from a bent wire tree covered with amethysts,
From the finger-worn neck of a long-loved fiddle,
From the whispering scent of Jean Naté and a marbled notebook stacked on a well-worn Bible.
You gift-givers wove all my life around with music and beautiful words.
I am from all of you.