I am from starving brain suckers,
From secrets and condescension.
I am from the house that Jack built
(Passing responsibility down the line;
Down to the youngest mouse who only gets the malt).
I am from the kitchen table,
The family time
That everyone has to participate in
Even if they're new and not comfortable with everyone else yet.
I'm from cluelessness and hypocrisy;
From lying and laughing.
I'm from the talk-a-lot-about-nothings
And the barely-talks-at-alls;
From later turns to never.
I'm from "you look fa-...soft
Since you stopped playing sports"
And anytime I feel I look good, you're going to tell me why I don't.
I'm from avoiding what I really want to say
Because I'm scared to confront them.
From my grandmother telling me,
"If your husband beat you,
You would just take it."
On the shelves in my living room sit pictures
Of me from all ages,
A smiling face on all of them,
A cover for the real memories that impose on my dreams.
I am from those memories,
Those memories that make me want to treat my kids better,
The ones that make me not want to be like you.