I am from handmade quilts and Chevy cars, from RC Cola, Donald Duck orange juice, Marion’s Piazza and Mike-sell’s potato chips.
I am from the many, then finally the red brick, a small front porch with steps to sit out on, the spirits of lost souls, a big tree of shade and a promise to stay put.
I am from the tobacco plant, the clear spring water, the mulberry bush, the lilacs and suburban green grass.
I am from real Christmas trees and stubborn as hell, from Whitt and Robinson and Ashley and DuBord and Estes and rumors of Native American and French aristocracy.
I am from the give the shirt off your backs and the alcoholics and the lovers and the fighters, the coal miners and farmers, the runners and the returners, the forgivers and the grudge holders, the crazy ass and the always steady.
From get your shit off the stairs and did you get something to eat and do you need any money?
I am from Grandpa’s Bible, a tiny church full of hellfire and brimstone with Jesus’ promise of redemption, Grandma’s lap on a wooden pew, Rock of Ages cleft for me, sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains and Amazing Grace.
I'm from a small steel town, the middle of the Midwest, a bit north of the Mason-Dixon Line, Green British Isles, two stoplights, way down in the holler and over the next ridge, soup beans and cornbread, biscuits and gravy and stack cake.
From the time we put the box of caterpillars on Mom’s dinner plate and the Ohio State-Miami Championship game the night before Grandpa’s funeral, using the outhouse at Granny and Grand Dad’s house, Dad’s catering trucks and Jessie’s Buck and Sam and “It must have been the Ghost”.
I am from Grandma’s shed out back, cardboard boxes, a closet that seems to hold everything you’d ever need, a plastic box under the bed, in drawers under socks and the corner of a mind still sharp after all these years. I am from memories that will soon get muddled and faded but can be revived by “Do you remember the time…”
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