Where I’m From

california oak tree

I am from laundry baskets,
from Tide and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the grass on the back lawn.
(Green, bright,
it tasted like tomatoes.)
I am from the tulip plant
and the Valley Oak
whose still-there limbs I see
when I go home.

I’m from cookies and no-glass eyes,
from Michelle and Michael.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from שלום
with a bright menorah
and many memories of liberty.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
brick pizza and warm pancakes.
From the scrapes on the unpaved street
to the redness,
of my very runny nose.

On my dresser is many things
many memories, with fun times
of birthdays gone by and presents lost
to be remembered in days of future.
I am from my history–
grown from the ground —
and shared with my family.

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