I’m from the rough bark and tight
purple-red skin of cherries
in the summer. I’m from mud pies
baking on a hot aluminum slide
and crisp green beans.
I’m from the highest peaks, the
the trees with purple leaves, and
cracks in the sidewalk
that makes a continuing ssswump
sound when my bicycle goes over them.
I’m from the mud at the bottom of
puddles that stay all summer,
the smell of horses, and
brushing their sleek
bodies. I’m from a house
made of piles of crunchy brown leaves.
I’m from the knothole in the fence
where I could watch
other children playing, and the five-
foot-high tire that finally
brought them to me. I’m from huge
snowballs rolled by 20 children at
I’m from shady spots where I played
dentist, pulling out the rocks I
thought were the earth’s loose teeth,
and uniforms of plaid jumpers,
white shirts, and brown, black, or
navy blue shoes.
I’m from dandelions wrapped in soggy
paper towels, and Strawberry Short
Cake tennis shoes with Velcro laces.
I’m from bedtime stories of Pink
Nose, Orange Toes, and Freddy Fire
Engine told around a night-light.
I’m from the walk-in refrigerator that
keeps apples fresh. I’m from
backing a boy into a corner in kindergarten,
with every intention of
kissing him, because he owned the
most beautiful boa constrictor I’d
I’m from crying in my closet, because
no one loved me,
and from feeling so happy I couldn’t
even laugh. I’m from the smell
of warm pine, rain, and mothballs.
I’m from the satin feeling of toe shoes,
and the squishiness of blisters.
I’m from the sight of light and oil
that make dead rainbows in parking
and from sunsets, and weeds growing
I’m from the silence of snowfalls and
the crack of thunder. I’m from
ripe peaches, and macaroni and
cheese, and parsley, and chives,