i. am. from.

I am from under the rug

where secrets are kept.

I am from matching church dresses and white frilly fold over socks.

from spearmint gum in Sunday morning pews.

promising to keep quiet.

I am from both sides at the battle of the Alamo.

William B. Travis. and Santa Anna.

and tamales on Christmas eve.

I am from “¡Andale!” and “¡dame tu mano!”

the smell of fried chicken and peach cobbler.

oh. and fresh tortillas. with menudo.

I am from hiding in cornfields.

coyotes howling in the night.

I am from hide and seek in the dark.

I am from the lake.

fishing trips with Poppy and soggy sandwiches from Nana.

from coffee ice cream and “The Waltons” with Ninny.

I am from bike rides at the state park.

fireworks every fourth of july.

…until where I am from shattered.

I am from the land of leaving.

from “your room is never clean” and “the house is always a wreck”

I am from one house. then another.

oh wait…one more.

I am from overnight bags.

from expected to be so many places but never belonging in one.

I am from divorce and remarriage and divorce.

from “stop being so selfish” – “the past is in the past. doesn’t matter.”

I am from a broken heart.

I am from living.

from “I should not be alive.”

I am from horrible things done to me

and I am from doing horrible things.

I am from an age of war.

bombs dropping.

soldiers leaving.

I am from an army town where all of the aftermath seems to double in weight.

and Jesus meeting me in the middle of it all.

I am from dysfunction and despair

from lies and secrets.

from the way things shouldn’t have been.

I am from second chances.

from “just try one more time, Alison.”

I am from hope.