Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trees Then and Now

I am from fire escapes,
from sidewalks and alleyways.
I am from shoulder to shoulder buildings.
(Close enough to see
into someone's kitchen.)
I am from six trees planted
in dirt patches surrounded by concrete.

I'm from chicken soup and honey bread,
              from sweet potatoes sold from a cart
I'm from the front page of the newspaper,
              vocabulary games around the kitchen table,
from Larry and Minnie,
              from a pull out bed in the living room
  a sewing machine in the hallway,
              and plastic covers on the couch.

I'm from my grandfather losing 
his name at Ellis Island.
From my other grandfather 
having a mistress and a Teamster's card.

I collected theater stubs, matchbook covers,
quick ink sketches, letters, and postcards
in collage covered memory books.
I am from still life charcoal drawings,
pen and ink sketches of rocks,
doodles with lines that 
drew new landscapes
where trees elbowed
each other.

Poetic Asides prompt
form adapted from 
" Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon


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