Where I’m from poem

Sarah Donovan

I am from wastebaskets
from Johnson & Johson’s talcum and Comet scouring powders.
I am from the bedrooms of plywood and glue,
the bathroom of mildew and dripping faucets,
the dining room of picnic tables and benches
with scratches and knots of battles and laughter.
I am from the rose bush
with temperamental blooms.
The magnolia tree
whose teacup blossoms I remember
as if they were my own palms.
I’m from Cream of Wheat packets
for breakfast and
french toast out of the skillet
for dinner.
I am from Skippy and Corky
skulking late to Mass
and Mother’s Day breakfast at McDonald’s with placemats
and from vacuum hums in the middle of the night.
I am from “go to confession” and “help your sister”
and “Islands in the Stream.”
I’m from Poppin’ Fresh after concerts.
I’m from Chicago and Collodi,
lasagna and Steak-umms.
From Papa, taking on Capone’s goons
immigrant, educated in shake-downs. and alleys.
From rosaries of wood and glass and wire
wrapped in fingers,
resting in drawers,
hung on nails
waiting for prayers.
I am from long arms, blue streams in wrists
that have harmed and hugged.
I am from
the branches that scratch and knot.
Palms up, fingers nimble
I am from
the blossoms that cradle hope.


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Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Donovan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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