“I Am From”

I am from the city of tulips.

Iowa, the heart of the Midwest.

I am from county-line road,

gardens blanketed with asparagus and strawberries.

From whimpering lab puppies under heat lamp,

to worm-hunting after rain.

I am from the smell of fresh cookies,

the crackle of pizza rolls on an open fire.

I am from Dutch costumes

in the twin’s parade down Main Street.

From carving my name in the kitchen table

with the butt of my fork.

I am from sledding in a cornfield,

tornadoes dancing above my head.

I am from star-gazing and catching fireflies

in dusty mason jars.

From green bean casserole

at Grandma’s for Thanksgiving.

I am from Third Church,

Sunday school and note-taking during sermons.

I am from the secret door

in the laundry room behind the dresser.

From Monopoly under candlelight

during high waters.

I am from losing a cousin

to a car accident down South.

I am from the Garden of Eden

and the Earth under my feet.

From the belief that everything

happens for a reason.

I am from finding myself

in a world against me.

I am from black dots

on a staff and eighty-eight keys.

From music as an expression

of the soul through a Dutch front.

I am from rainbow flags

Waving through crisp air in June.

I am from fighting for who I am

and the right to love in all ways. 

From standing up for the things

That should be common sense.

I am from me,

the only me I choose to be.



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