I Am From

A friend from high-school posted a poem by her 9-yr-old daughter Vivian on Facebook last week. I printed it and brought it home to read to the family and nearly teared-up each time I read it, I thought it was so beautifully done. What a wonderful portrait of childhood. Very Whitmanian, if you ask me.

I Am From
By Vivian Stang

I am from the dog that barks at night
and the cats that roam around my street.

I am from Cape Cod and the warm blue sea.
I am from hamburgers and their wonderful, juicy taste.

I am from the Sarabinh and
Charlie branch and their love for me.
I am from my grandma’s brownies and sponge cake.

I am from my sister’s tight hug
and warm happy smile.
I am from my cat meowing when she wants food.

I am from soccer, kicking the ball through the field
and passing it to my teammates.

I am from running with my friends in the park
and sitting while our ice cream
drips onto the ground.

I am from my cozy bed
and playing with my sister on Saturday mornings.
I am from my mom reading stories to me in bed.

I am from sitting on the couch and quietly reading.
I am from chatting at the dinner table with
my family.

I am from joking around with my with my friends
and getting out of bed to give my parents
hugs every morning.

I am from gulping down my mom’s chocolate cake
and cleaning my room, while listening to music.

I am from riding on the back of a horse,
feeling the wind brush against my face.
I am from making sandcastles at the beach.

I am from laughing with my friends
and reading to my little sister.
I am from playing UNO with my grandparents and
listening to my grandma play piano.

I am from biking with my mom,
while watching the endless bike trail.

I am from the things that make me, me.

Here’s my first attempt at my I Am From poem:

I Am From
by Jason Molin

I am from my first little record player, singing along, “We sail the ocean blue and our saucy ship’s a beauty!”

I am from the alley behind the house, kickball, or a soccer ball against the wall, or setting up ramps and riding off them over and over again, jumping trashcans with Matt.

I am from walking to school, skateboarding, bussing or riding my bike back and forth along Connecticut Ave. or Reno Rd. I am from forgetting my books and having to go back to school. I am from getting a ride home with Mark or Saul or Mrs. Brady.

I am from crazy beautiful flawed teachers, Mr. Emerson, Stick Sturtevant, Mr. King, my ceramics teacher, what was his name? What would I be without their passion and patience? I am from Manfred and Gurland, my philosophical fathers.

I am from my mother’s beautiful house, the oriental rugs, the walls full of art and shelves full of books. I am from Al’s meals, dinners in the kitchen, with guests in the dining room around a turkey, well-spiced sautéed vegetables, an interesting soup, pecan pies, occasionally meringues. I am from long conversations afterward, talking around the fire until we’re tired.

I am from singing at church, from the trumpet what was my father’s, from high-school musicals, from the acoustic guitar I used to sing my soul over and over and never stopped. I am from jamming and singing whenever and wherever and those who join in.

I am from The Song of Myself and The War of Art, I am from If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out and Love Rescue Me. I am from Across the Universe and One Love.

I am from Maile’s animals, her loving name for everything. I am from Anais’s art, each dance, song, drawing, story, and scene.

I am from walking or biking the streets of DC, NY, Dublin, and Austin, lost in thought, noticing reflections, singing to myself, snapping pics or jotting down ideas, rethinking the strategy, making resolutions, noticing signs and designs, catching people’s eyes.

I am from the rhythm of words, birdsong, dancing and hugging and kissing in the sun. I am from staying up late, disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind. I am Sylvester as the stone, waking early and meditating on a world with and beyond me.

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I'm j and I play: musician, web guy, family man.

2 thoughts on “I Am From”

  1. I LOVE this poem. We should all write I Am From poems like this. My first line would be “I am from cookouts on the beach and the smell of crushed eucalyptus leaves on the bridle path behind the school.”

  2. You read my mind… working on mine. “I am from my first record player, singing along to ‘We sail the ocean blue, and our saucy ship’s a beauty…'”

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