I am from the piano,
From Yamaha and broken keys.
I am from the grey shutters on the windows,
Dull but comforting to see on my long walks home.
I am from black butterflies,
The giant oak tree
That stood tall and stubborn like an unmovable man.
I am from kickball and beautiful voices,
From Ollie Mae and Anna and Howard.
I am from musical instruments and humorous nights.
From “Speak up child.” and “That’s what I’m talking about!”
I am from “It is well with my soul,”
My great-grandmother singing her favorite song in church,
Her luminous voice still strong at 80,
I am from military births and Lewis & Clark,
Nana’s cookies and granny’s macaroni
From my great-grandfather’s long gone legs,
The “inside-out eyelid” scare tactics
And deaths before their time.
I am from the attics of grandparents
The camphor trunk in my dad’s closet
The countless bags of pictures are a trademark of our family memories.