Her.

For my mother on Mother’s Day 2012….

Nonnandlu

above: My mother and grandmother.

Where I’m From

by George Ella Lyon

 

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

 

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

 

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

 

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —

 

leaf-fall from the family tree.

 

Where I’m From

by Shannon S. Bevins

(Derived from George Ella Lyon)

I am from glass bottles, 

from grosgrain and mud-stained smocking.
I ate the dirt under the back porch.

I am from the honeysuckle bush

and the weeping willow

whose tireless tresses guarded my shade
to drink in the creek.

I’m from beans and cornbread,
from Mabel and Mamie.
I’m from the bring-it-ons
and the do-unto-others,
from the ballfield and the ballet shoe.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a psalm and a long walk
and ten songs I sing to myself.

I’m from Donna’s Branch,
Tabasco and percolating coffee.
From how to season springtime

and a cast iron skillet, 

and too much squinting at the sun.

Under my bed STILL is the dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —

 

still clinging to the family tree.

 

Treat yourself to hearing this poem read by George Ella herself.

http://www.georgeellalyon.com/audio/where.mp3

A peek into growing up. And we still are…Thanks, Mom.

Cak

Callie in the garden.

Shan

Shannon in the igloo made by Pa Everette. No small feat with TN snowfall.

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