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

Student Sample:

Mixed Blood           By Kriten Campaz

I am from tamale pie
chicken and broccoli,
burnt oatmeal and burritos

I am from the broken swing
and the imprint from
where our pool used to be.
From the hand prints in the cement
in our back yard.

I am from the Cosby Show,
Seasam Street, Mister Roger's
Neighborhood and Care Bears.

I am from the death of
Grandpa Campaz, Matthew
and Tia

I am from the trips to
New York, Oklahoma, Arizona
Grand Canyon and New Mexico.

I am from Paula Abdul, Criss Cross,
Vanilla Ice, New Kids on the Block
and New Edition

I am from the "hand me downs" from
my sister that were always too big.

I am from Pheobe Hearst, James Rutter
and Florin High.

I am from family, friends, love,
happiness, sorrow
and life.

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