Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am from

This little exercise comes from a poem by George Ella Lyons; by way of Fragments from Floyd, where there is a template; by way of Kirsty at Two Lime Leaves and others. Whew. A long way to get here, but a good exercise. I recommend it and would love to see what others come up with.

I am from The Saturday Evening Post, from Grapenuts and the Postwar Baby Boom.

I am from Maplewood Street, Elm trees, sagebrush, the Portneuf River, hot, dry summers and bitter cold winters.

I am from the desert, the mountains, the sky. I am from the sound of trains in the night.

I am from singing in the car and laughing til we peed our pants, from Grandpa Ern ("you be Frank and I'll be Ernest") and Shelton earlobes and Howard hair.

I am from handmade is better than store bought.
From "never tolerate intolerance" and "life is grand if you don't weaken."
I am from the little Methodist church and the Carnegie Library and the Woolworth and the Okay Market.

I'm from a homestead in Colorado, a farm in Montana, the foot of the mountains in Idaho, from baked potatoes and cheese enchiladas.

From Jimmy who saw Betty for the first time and said, "There's the girl I'm going to marry" and Betty who thought she "might die" if she didn't marry him; and black and white TV and a succession of Ford Station wagons.

I am from Dad's darkroom and family photos and silver dollars. From fresh trout and starry nights, the smell of woodsmoke and wool blankets; the love of books and babies and card games and road trips and a good story.

I am from love that was demonstrated daily but never talked about. I am from family.


  1. Anonymous2:58 AM

    Wonderful, Terry!
    It always surprises me how evocative a few words can be; how a whole world comes alive.
    I love your parents' descriptions of finding each other!

  2. Oh Terry, this is so lovely. It's the kind of family everyone wishes they had and is perfectly reflected in your wonderful personality.

  3. That, my dear, was exquisite. So much depth from such simple descriptions. Thank you for enriching my day.

  4. What can I say? That truly is core of your being.

  5. Anonymous4:58 AM

    Lovely, lovely. Funny but my dad saw my mom and had the same reaction according to family tales. He just "knew", quite smitten. Good solid folks, like yours. We are, indeed, blessed.

    I'll have to try this on my blog, eh? Thanks for so much so elegantly.