There’s a poem called Where I’m From by Kentucky writer George Ella Lyon which is used as a popular writing prompt. You should try it (even if you don’t consider yourself a writer). It’s fascinating which moments and memories pop up. Here’s mine…
Where I Come From
My roots are thick with coal dust
from a small mining town.
Thorn-pricked fingers stained purple from
dew-covered-dawn blackberry hunts.
I come from Pierogis, Goulash, garden delights
plucked by grandfather’s hands.
Snow-bound winters in unforgiving
where my best friend’s sister disappeared
off our back-country road, murdered by
a serial killer.
I learned to tip-toe early.
I come from long, winding, car-sick trips
to grandma’s house. Real maple candy and
Dairy Queen after softball.
Rustling fall leaves, intoxicating sweetness,
covered bridges and deer hunting season.
I come from
fireflies-in-a-jar childhood magic, hours
in the woods, stomping through
cold-water creeks lifting rocks
for the reward of glistening jewel-eyed
salamanders. Wild-nature child.
I come from a deep love of books and solitude.
I come from don’t-tell-me-what-to-do and
I come from my mother, soft-shelled
heart, artist. And my father: I was
chipped off the block of his perfectionism.
I come from the year we moved south
and I fell in love with the ocean and
impossibly blue wide-open Florida sky.
Folding up my wings and
closing the book, it no longer matters
where I come from because
I am home.