I am from the cool and dark earthen cellar, the trap door with its heavy iron ring, from chrome-rimmed arborite and from insulbrick.
I am from lunch when the noon-day siren sounds and supper when the jigger comes home.
I am from the pink peonies on my brother's grave, the robin's nest in the lilac hedge with four sky-blue eggs and the sharp smell of creosote on a hot summer's day.
I am from hard work, hard lives and rage, from pioneer and immigrant, soldier and chamber maid.
I am from the Eaton's catalogue and squeezing nickels 'til the beaver shits, from hanging on past all endurance and then hanging on some more.
From whistling girls and crowing hens, from big rock candy mountain and you are my sunshine.
I am from a silver tinsel Christmas tree and St. Paul's junior choir practice on Thursday evenings.
I'm from across the tracks and across the ocean, from jello salads and Velveeta.
From the partially severed hand in the flour bag, my father's tattoos, patriotic bunting and "all white help."
I am from a cracked china bulldog, a bronze cherub blacksmith, a ring from Vimy Ridge and a Swiss music box.
Last month, Elly at Bugginword posted her version of this poem and I was very taken with it. The original poem was written by an American poet, George Ella Lyon, as a poetry workshop exercise. You can see the original poem and learn about its popularity as a poetry exercise here. If you want to try your own hand at writing a personal version, there's a handy-dandy template for the poem here.
Try it yourself -- it's amazing what images it can conjure up from the past!
[P.S. -- Have you entered my giveaway yet? Click here to do so!]