Tuesday, October 10, 2006

where I'm from

I am from the glider

on my grandmother's side porch,
Coca-Cola in six ounce green glass bottles,
cornbread and sweet tea.

I am from the mountains, flatlands,

from the land of cotton,
peaches and apples,
beans and taters.

I am from the dogwood trees along the driveway,

wild huckleberries and blackberries,
from the washboard chatter
and dust of a gravel road.

I am from patchwork quilts and crocheted afghans,

from the Hanies and the Austins,
Aunt Betty's cinnamon rolls and Jessilee's cakes.

I am from soldiers,

working folks, farmers, mechanics,
from Lava soap, sawdust,
and silver curlicues under the workbench.

From the city house

bought with farm butter and egg money,
from parachutes at Fort Benning,
and parades on Peachtree Street.

I am from Army housing,

foreign wars, motorpools, sea rations,
leaning tower of Pisa,
camping in the Alps.

I am from liberal Methodists,

dinner on the grounds, homecoming,
sprinkling instead of dunking,
family reunions and family funerals.

I am from fried chicken and apple pie,

from gathering eggs, making pickles, and churning butter.
I am a Daydream Believer
and Gone With the Wind.

I am from my grandfather's shaving brush

in the ceramic cup on the bathroom sink,
from filling the coal scuttle,
gathering the firewood,
sewing my finger.

I am from Barbie dolls, Chatty Cathy,

the clickety-clack of playing cards on bike spokes,
jigsaw puzzles and rope swings.

I am from shelling pecans picked up off the ground,

fresh sweet milk with cream on top,
cookbooks, iron skillets,
and soup mix on the ceiling.

I am from handmade prom dresses and handmade houses,

chenille bedspreads, Braves on the radio,
picking plums on the creek bank,
outhouses, verandas.

I am from bellbottom blue jeans and crocheted vests,

sock hops, pep rallies, Tastee Freeze,
LPs and 45s,
Bonanza and Laugh-In.

I am from all of these moments

and places in time and more
rolled into one,
just a Southern country girl at heart.

~Susan Tidwell 2006

~create your own 'where I'm from'


jellyhead said...

Susan, this is fantastic! Your poetry just gets better & better. I feel like I got to know you just a little better, too.

Jeanne said...

This is a beautiful poem.

Motherkitty said...

Susan, you are a gem. I couldn't compete with this in a million years. How sweet you are.

Finn said...

Hi Susan, what a beautiful rendering of that exercise. I find it very moving to read those of the different who have done it. There always seem to be some common points or places. Somewhere that our 'worlds' connect and then seperate again. And how wonderful that we are all from such different, and yet so similar 'things and places'.
It seems that thread of time runs through connecting us all. I suppose that is why I am always so thrilled when some younger person decides to pick up a needle and thread. To watch them begin to step into the footprints of those who went before on that path of creativity.

Walking in the woods don't you sometimes feel as if something still lingers of the folks who walked that path in moccacin feet or handmade boots and shoes?
That someone gathered the edibles from the bounty the earth provides? And that someone gathered that deadwood to make a fire to keep them warm and well lit into the night? I do...and its very humbling. Thanks for sharing YOU with us. Hugs, Finn *VBS*

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

That was VERY GOOD Susan, I did this same exercise sometime last year and it was a lot of fun.

colleen said...

This is spectacular! I can't seem to read these without getting all shivery...especially a really good one like this one. They always reach deep into my roots and make me realize that we are so much more alike than we are different.

City house bought with farm butter ... I love it.

I remember Chatty Kathy...so maybe you're not too young to remember paper dolls.

You should try to get this on your sidebar by was of an introduction.

bluemountainmama said...

thanks for stopping by- i really like your "WIF", too! sounds like we both bundled up under handmade afghans! :) my brother-in-law works at fort benning.

Outlaw said...

Betty,This is your best.Keep up the good work.

janet said...

Hey we're from the same place!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Liberal Methodists, huh? Are you still one? I am. And my mama's cornbread was better than anybody's. I never managed to make it taste quite like hers. Susan, this is a wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Kerri said...

Susan, not sure how I ended up here, but so glad I did. You are truly gifted with words. I'm glad you blog so we can enjoy your creative writing.
Loved learning a little more about you in this form.
It really is so neat the way we find so many things in common with people all over the world.
We could spend some enjoyable time chatting about those old days I believe :)
Liberal Methodist, and from a military family? Now I'm really curious about your politics :) I married into a Baptist family and happily became one :) Grew up in the 'Church of England' (Episopalian) in Oz, but my parents weren't church goers.

Seeing Anew said...

I just discovered your "Where I'm from" poem. That is outstanding poetry! I love all the southern imagery -- you make me want to sit out on a verandah with sweet tea and cornbread, listening to crickets, right now! Not a likely thing for me to do, though -- we are encased in 1/2" of ice here today. Your poetry is beautiful.

Southern Muse said...

That really takes me back! Makes me feel like "old home"!

Anonymous said...

Wow- Susan...this is really beautiful. It really says it all.

Goin over Home said...

I love this. Beautifully written.

LuckyLady said...

My grandson wrote an I am from poem which is the first I had ever seen. It is posted on my facebook page a while back. It is a beautiful poem. Did make me think about writing one of my own.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This is a beautiful description of how I grew up also! I had forgotten about Chatty Cathy ha!