Where I Am From

On Friday, August 16, the faculty gathered for a morning of spiritual reflection around Psalm 46.  We asked writer Enuma Okoro to lead us.

She read us a poem by George Ella Lyon, "Where I Am From."

Then she had us each write our own poem, and many of us stood to share ours.

Enuma took notes, so that by the time we were finished we had "written" a poem together, a quilt of our different stories.  It was powerful and revealing.

Here is our "Where We Are From":

Where I Am From

I am from hominy grits with butter and pepper.
Thanking God for the rain.
And tears that say, “You have to go.”
Dreaming under the Magnolia Tree,
“Shh, don’t tell them where I am.”
What stories lie untold behind those eyes?
From a front door that was never locked.
I am the smell of soil overturned by shovels.
Does everyone have bikes with streamers?
“I expect more of you,” he said.
Loved, yes, but craving approval.
A younger brother who stayed behind.
I am from home-made dresses and hand-me-downs.
From a place of mystery and light.
I am from old accents lost.
From a forgetfulness so thorough.
From walking canes, switches, from hopscotch, jumping rope, and hula hoops.
Where everyone’s name ends with a –y.
From trophies for participation.
From where we ran for sport.
In the midst of my sporting I noticed the lack of water.
A bucket of discipline.
A boy unconcerned with much.
I am from many transitions, blank slates and new faces.
The smell of honeysuckle, sleepless nights with stacks of books.
From a home full of stuff, stuff, stuff.
I am from dogs barking behind the chain-linked fence.

From a father quicker to forgive.


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