We had an assignment in English: to use the structure of a poem we were looking at to tell where we are from.
I'm from spiky oak leaves that stick in your heel.
From acorn and caterpillar season, from Robins in the redberry bush and daffodils we planted ourselves before we could spell, that bloom through earthquakes and bulldozers.
I'm from torn, springless, bucket-seat couches with tacky buttons and sinking orange foam.
I'm from Christmas trees reaching toward a twenty-five foot sloping ceiling, from mother's homemade centerpieces and cider, and Grandma's sugar cookies.
My childhood hangs in the purple moon on the Christmas tree.
The rest of my childhood lurks under thin dusty films in prominent corners of my room and mind
in the Tinker Toy orange stick that fell off of the back deck, in the soulless ceramic horses that wait in the shadows to be given life.
I am from abstract and impressionist paintings. The Monk Knocks Twice. From hand me down pianos, from the coffee table that holds pictures of faces lost to time and love letters in a feverish scrawl.
My heart lies in journals, sketchbooks, and Australian pop CDs,
in doors of spiraling wood and Purple Passion comforters.
It is the reflection of a cat's eye in the dark and the patter of rain on a tent tarp.
the plaintive wail of a train and the setting of a vibrant sun.