Where I am From

I am from arable land

From tall scratching grass and hum of electric cattle wire

I am from stolen sweetpeas and muddy carrots, slipped through to the old white draft-horse

And his long stained yellow teeth

Twitching fleecy ears and soft black eyes


I am from generational mulberry trees

Black, yellow, red, on tilled dark soil

Stained hands and feet and balancing on picnic tables to reach

From the ivy-crept pumphouse and hidden shrieking robin chicks

I cupped in small hands


From tall baskets of fresh zwieback and steaming plates of flinsen and jam

From hot bowls and mugs of love, and fresh-pressed grape juice

Yellow morning light on the crisp gold pears, the twelve-times-grafted apple trees,


The sugar plum trees with the painted stones at the base

Where I buried a best friend


Returned with an acquired fear of crawling things

Childhood covered in wasps, like those dropped plums

Gave a silent berth to the empty stable

And the hailstorm of doctor bills

I am from derelict and peeling minds

Insidious frost in family conversations


I am from “this shall come to pass”

I am from worrying that it will too soon


And also who will water the sweetpeas

And how severe a winter it will be


I am from ivy swallowing everything up

The fruit trees crushing themselves under their own rotting weight


Making yourself sick trying to consume the heaviness by yourself



This poem is about: 
My family


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