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