I am from…*


I am from cardboard boxes and suitcases that empty and fill, from planes, trains and automobiles that take you everywhere and nowhere.

I am from the two storey house in Tasmania that creaks as you take the stairs. From patchwork paintings and photo albums with a faint layer of dust around the edges.

I am from the river and sky, from backdrop mountains with snow even in summer.

I am from rice and soup for breakfast and fiery honesty, from ohmoni and ahboji and dongsaeng.

I am from the pride and laughter.

From don’t, that’s dangerous and I love you so much.

I am from God. Hanging there in burning pain, bleeding on a cross.

I’m from Aomori and Korean, snags and potato chips.

From the argument that blew up and forced everyone out of the car, the silly thing said that made everyone laugh, and the time locked in our room with a window his only way out.

I am from the library of a million and one photographs, slowly turning yellow in a room that overlooks a river. But always almost and not quite.


* spotted the writing exercise on Freckled Foolery last month. Her strong rendition inspired me to write my own, thinking it might help me explore my own sense of place. The template can be found here if you would like to try it yourself. The original poem, Where I’m from, is by poet laureate, George Ella Lyon. Grateful for her generosity that not only allows, but welcomes people to play with her original idea and structure. 

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