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More Penny Inspiration.

I’ve been wanting to write a “Where I’m From” poem for many years now.  Originally inspired by George Ella Lyon’s poem, shared in a workshop by Georgia Heard, then by Stacey, and most recently by Penny Kittle.  I finally bit the bullet, because I want to share it with my high school class next week (just like Penny showcases in her book Write Beside Them.)

I must say this was a tough one to write and an even tougher (is that a word?) one to punctuate.  Here it is — just as I’ll be sharing it at approximately 8:27 tomorrow morning.

Where I’m From

By Ruth Ayres


I’m from a safe home,

with plenty of laughter and an abundance of love.

From a university so big that I found parts of myself

that I didn’t know existed.

And from a small town where I learned to be myself

no matter who is watching.


I’m from a family who loves and supports me


A mom, dad, brother

A cabbage patch kid, rollerskating, and everything purple.

And three dogs:  Holly, Rosie, Sascha,

dogs that I still miss to this day.


From never allowing the scales to tip past 100,

striving for perfection,

staying in control.


I’m from church pews

and church camps

and kindergarten classrooms,

middle school classrooms,

high school classrooms;

teacher trainings;

learning to live my faith out in the world,

where it really matters.


I’m from a husband who walked a different path than me,

who helped me understand teenagers

and life and what really matters;

who loves me more with each passing day

and now walks the path alongside me.


I’m from longing for children,

waiting for children,

losing children.


Now  from three children,

two girls and a boy,

grown in other women’s bodies,

yet made perfectly for me.


From a son who is the youngest

and still the glue,

who accepts and loves all people.


And from two daughters

who had to live without their real parents for too long;

who I hug tightly as often as possible;

Still unable to believe how precious they are.


I’m from learning to extend grace

and accepting others

and more blessings

than I can count



Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “More Penny Inspiration. Leave a comment

  1. loved your where i am from poem! i teach this in a youth writing camp at miami university and always looking for good examples. it’s personal and real and wonderful. i really enjoy your all’s website!


  2. Oh, how I’ve waited to read this poem. I saw it in draft status for days and couldn’t imagine taking a peek… until now. It’s beautiful. I found the tears welling up in my eyes at the part about the scales and found the my throat shaking when I got to the line Sarah mentioned. And, now complete tears as I got to the end. What an emotional journey. Thanks for trusting me, and all of our readers, with this personal poem.


  3. My favorite line, “grown in other women’s bodies yet made perfectly for me.”
    That about sums it up in a nutshell doesn’t it? If ever a person was made for motherhood it was you, are you ever amazed at the way that God took you to that path?


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