Where I’m From

Family Survey:

  1. In December, I sent home an informal survey.
  2. I am gathering information for some lessons I will be teaching in the weeks ahead: one on personal timelines, one on writing an E1 version of the poem, “Where I’m From” By George Ella Lyon.
  3. Also, this is my attempt to get to know all of the families of Eagle’s Nest. 
  4. This info in the survey is just for me. Please be as honest as you feel and let me know if any of the questions are confusing. You may respond via e-mail or on the paper copy, whichever is more convenient.


Peter Avirom 

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.


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