Thursday, July 3, 2014

Where I'm From (Based on George Ella Lyon's Poem, "Where I'm From")

Where I'm from (Based on George Ella Lyons' poem)
M.A. Reilly 

I am from blocks
of ivory soap
of ice wedged between milk bottles
in the summer,
from the white gabled home
with its small patched lawn
so solid against sudden storms.
I am from the gnarled Cherry tree,
its pale pink blossoms
against the wet, black bark.

I’m from tinseled trees and piles of books
from Catherine Mary and Robert Emmett.
I’m from daily piano scales and Bach Inventions
From Pop who played ragtime, all the time.
I’m from “batter up,”
and “I was just passin’ the time of day.”
From Marches on Washington
to “say five Hail Marys.”
Knowing too well the shy comfort of the confessional,
So dark and thick with secrets.

I’m from Stamullen,
tucked tight alongside the Irish Sea.
From late afternoon tea with those
who came back from the war
and those who could not.
I am from all of this
from the limbs that formed
those long afternoons
strong in ways I’ve learned to test.

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