Where are you from?

I heard part of George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From” on NPR on August 19:

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 am 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 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.

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