Where I’m From

(Randy Seaver of Genea Musings posted this for Saturday Night Fun.  You can also find the template here – “Where I’m From“.)

I’m from Motor City Burning.
From Jags shrimp, cousins down the
street and the River Rouge Plant.

I’m from moving every few years.
From parsonages, two family
flats, faded wine carpet and
summers in Idlewild.

I am from grape vines in
grandmother’s backyard and
collard greens in Poppy’s.

I’m from the “Cleage Look”
and Mommy’s firm closed lips. From
“Do you want to scrub floors for the
rest of your life?” and “What
were you thinking?”

I come from church starting
Congregationalists and Presbyterians. From
Black Christian Nationalists and Catholics.

I am from Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.
From smothered chicken, baking powder biscuits,
caramel iced cakes and sweet potato pie.

I’m from Eliza’s freedom and Dock’s
escape.  From “I know nothing about you
people.” And digging yams in the rain.

I am from slaves, seamstresses, carpenters,
doctors, teachers, auto workers and dreamers.
From Annie, Matilda, Celia and Clara.

I’m from talking and analyzing  around
the dinner table. From meetings
and protests. From newsletters and
demonstrations.  From freedom now.

I come from the creamy crumbling pages of
my father’s photo album.  From my
grandparents faded love letters. I come
from those who survived.

17 thoughts on “Where I’m From

  1. That is incredible! I saw that challenge and wasn't even willing to try. Reading this, it would be hard for anyone else to measure up. There are so many parts of it that spoke to me, but I'm embarrassed that my mind keeps sticking on the sweet potato pie. Dont ask me what that says about me.

  2. Great work! Great poem! You are, truly, an amazing lady! Glad to know you…
    You've got a way with words!


  3. I love this, you created a real image for us. I think this was a fun and enlightening assignment!

  4. Bravo, Kristin. I love (and relate) to the "Look" and those firm, closed lips.

  5. Love this, Kristin! Also enjoyed how many of your memories were so similar to my own.

  6. I enjoyed your "I Am From" Poem. I see besides "industriousness and procrastination" in your comment that you also grew up in a minister's home.

  7. Great Job 😀 My Dad worked at the Rouge for many years and my husband just retired from the Willow Run plant.

    So many of those things I know too 😀

  8. So evocative of a fascinating ancestry. You’re making me hungry with all that soul food.

    It’s funny, when it comes to family quotes, I could almost write an entire book of them. I bet you could too.

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