I Am From…

I am from Paris via Quebec, Northern Ireland,

Massachusetts, a carpenter in Wales,

 

I am from Bridgeport, cousins,

pajamas at the drive-in,

dodge ball in the road,

 

I am from hotdog-chocolatemilk-frenchfries,

when dad was home on leave,

Chubby Checker, A Hard Day’s Night,

 

I am from dot candy and porcelain elephants,

traded for giggles and hugs,

sugar snow-balls eaten in the shopping cart,

 

I am from, she always had a smile on her face,

the best mistake she ever made,

peering over, into her Cadillac front seat,

“it’s a great life if you don’t weaken”,

and her cow bell in the night, harkening,

bring the nitro,

 

I am from sin-twisters,

kissing-cousins,

Liddle Kiddles,

Pippi Longstocking,

 

I am from dark waters of Long Island Sound,

fleeing man-of-war,

minuscule beach frogs,

barefoot on seawall rocks,

sunburns, sunfish, lemon ice,

 

I am from Abby Road

for having a sore throat,

sharing Valentine candies,

 

I am from Little Women, Little Men,

by flashlight, and

dancing to Stevie,

 

I am from secret passageway,

goldfish races, silhouettes,

pink feather pen, cigarettes,

 

I am from wanting, not believing,

confusion, not achieving,

nightmares, humiliation,

lack of preparation,

 

I am from, keep going, step up,

keep going, for the sake of life itself,

and hug gently, so as not to hurt one another,

 

I am from tracing my mother and grandmother’s hands

while oiling the pie-crust table, and the secretary,

 

and from cousins, and clutching dear

all I had thought I did not need,

and mincing for memories,

 

I am from constellations by steam,

Ghost Ranch and O’Keefe,

pink aspens of twilight,

Leonard Cohen, gratitude at night.

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