I am from the whistle of a tea kettle always calling
from the stove, and a Scottish calendar tacked on
the kitchen wall. I am from turquoise shutters
on a tall white house where bees hummed over
carefully planted flowers no children could touch.
I am from long sidewalks and the rush of commuter
trains, parks that roamed the rind of the Long Island
Sound, and the flash of bicycle spokes in the sun.
I am from hymns and Hollywood musicals, turning
the pages of sheet music as my mother played piano.
I am from the voices of my father’s TV shows winding
up the stairs, better than a night light. I am from
Jesus Loves You, and Wait Until Your Father Gets Home.
I am from Scots off a boat and Midwestern farmers
with French roots. From stout black tea and blood
pudding, Grandma’s Alsace Lorraine vegetable soup,
and Mom’s By Golly pork chops. Hot chocolate at two
in the morning when my mother couldn’t sleep.
I am from people who believed in love no matter
how rough the road. From falling down and rising up and
try try again. From a dog at the foot of a bed. From prayers.
I am from summer beaches, and church Sundays,
from lunches out, and long evening walks. I am from
After Your Chores, and pull up a chair at that round
kitchen table, a plate of shortbread cookies and just
perked coffee, a conversation starting.