07 July 2016

Where I'm From

Circa 1966
I am from Dr. Pepper and Big Macs and big rigs, ’57 Chevys and ’68 Thunderbirds, and Smirnoff Silver.

I am from the white, wood-frame mill house at the end of the street, at the end of the sidewalk. From a house that was the turn-around, the Kool-aid house, and I can still hear the bat cracking on his head. It was my turn and I didn’t want to let go.

I am from the yellow forsythia growing out of the huge tire where the bike split and the zillion-foot tall pine tree hiding the rusty nail and the ER knew me by name.

I am from banana pudding Thanksgivings and brown eyes and short ladies, from Maggie and Evelyn and Callie and Carrie. I am from Gunter and Spence and Pressley and Fowler.

Circa 1972
I am from attitude and “survivitude” and “don’t mess with me!” “What’s your hurry?” and “Come back and see me.”

From tin buckets that couldn’t hold tunes and they’ll like me more than you and you have to learn to skate forward first and the bumble bee was pretty, but it didn’t win.

I am from King James Bibles and filled church pews and Old Rugged Cross and homecoming. I am from loudness and burning hell and crying at the altar and “why wasn’t he wearing a helmet?” and please save me. I am from preacher-uncle and are you ready?

Circa 1982
I’m from Anderson and Belfast and Glasgow, and sliced tomatoes, cornbread dressing, and pineapple-coconut cake and they don’t like each other. Same notes, same singers, different holidays and they end the same. I am from over three hundred years on this side of the pond and even longer over there. I am from the landing and the founding and the writer of the Declaration.

From the accident and she’s under the car, then under the marker and seven and I don’t understand, but she’s gone. I’m from confusion and grandpa was married before and so what is she to me? I’m from gunshots in Mississippi and orphaned babies and broken hearts and lies.

I am from little frames on grandma’s nightstand and a big wooden room divider, Parcheesi and Jeopardy. I’m from Aunt Mae’s back room and a tall, skinny man with a long, white beard that lived in the oval frame. I am from old books and dusty smells and words much bigger than me. Loaded albums chronicling the years and photos are slipping because the magnetism didn’t hold. From baby girls in red forever glued to the glass in the tri-frame on the TV stand. Little wooden airplanes and
Circa 2015
Fiberglas and vanilla extract. From Avon swordfish cologne bottles and Sweet Honesty and bouffant hair and Burt Reynolds grins. I am from hand-pieced quilts and long, country roads, outhouses and granny’s “stories.”

I am from there…but now I’m here, writing a new story, working my way back. I am from the place that I couldn’t get out of quickly enough and can’t get back to soon enough.

©2011 Suzanne G. McClendon

This prompt was found on Mama Kat's blog several years ago.


  1. I think this is very good writing. It says a whole lot.

    1. Thank you, David. You sayin' I talk too much? haha


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