My older son surprised me tonight; his first real attempt at poetry brought tears to my eyes. The students were instructed to imitate the style of George Ella Lyon’s poem Where I’m From. What I thought would be simply an intellectual and creative challenge became a poignant insight into the significant memories from his childhood – probably made all the more powerful since we just recently celebrated his transition into manhood. Though I’m sure it is more meaningful to those who know him well, I nonetheless thought it worthy of sharing with you today.
Where I’m From
by Calvin Scott
I am from books,
from H. G. Wells and from paper.
I am from the plastic cube in my backyard,
with so many colors and textures
I am from Tom Sawyer
and Great Expectations
I remember their words
as if they were on a page before me now.
I’m from wind-up toys and Lincoln Logs
____from Julia and Katherine.
I’m from the hyperactive
____ and the lazy
from Catch up! And Slow down!
I’m from lights and songs
____ and incredible joy
____ and perfect peace and contentment.
I’m from Robert and John’s page,
a banjo and wooden carvings.
from the fishing rod and the river
____ where first I caught a fish,
the mountain I hiked with my father.
Behind the chair there’s a door
full of scrapbooks,
so many faces, so many places
all there, when I remember.
I am from those moments–
from all the little things in life–
an empty page in the history book.