Where I'm from

By: George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins, 
from Clorox and carbon tetrachloride. 
I am from the dirt under the back porch. 
(Black, glistening 
it tasted like beets.) 
I am from the forsythia bush, 
the Dutch elm 
whose long gone limbs I remember 
as if they were my own. 
I’m from fudge and eyeglasses, 
from Imogene and Alafair. 
I’m from the know-it-alls  and the pass-it-ons, 
from perk up and pipe down. 
I’m from He restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb 
and ten verses I can say myself. 
I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch, 
fried corn and strong coffee. 
From the finger my grandfather lost to the auger 
the eye my father shut to keep his sight. 
Under my bed was a dress box 
spilling old pictures, 
a sift of lost faces 
to drift beneath my dreams. I am from those moments– 
snapped before I budded– 
leaf-fall from the family tree.