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[personal profile] stresskitten
In our Pro-D today, we were talking about doing a school-wide project around the origins of our students, and ourselves. And we were looking at using a poem called "I Am From" by George Ella Lyon to use as a starting point, for poems "in the style of".

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I'm from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I'm from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I'm from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments--
snapped before I budded --
leaf-fall from the family tree.

And as a staff, and as individuals, we brainstormed our own responses. It was a pretty raw experience for me, as exhausted as I was from Parent Teacher Interviews last night. They were hoping that each teacher could submit one or two stanzas from their poems so that the team who was leading the initiative could put together a "We are From" poem from Chaffey-Burke teachers for the community connection night around the initiative.

And, after carefully NOT going further down the rabbit hole than I could deal with in a public place, I wrote the following lines that they can choose from.

I am from mountains and oceans, fir-lined slopes and foaming waves.
I am from the pebble beaches of Pevensy and the French fields on long summer days.
I am from foxes - the ones my Nana fed in her long, narrow garden and the one my little brother worked hard to earn for me as a child.
I am from the safe, warm, quiet of a bed, disappearing into a less lonely world by the dim light of a street-lamp.
I am the Phoenix, buoyed up by the teachers and friends who saw strength, not weakness, by the mother who bends and does not break.
I am from acceptance, and pragmatism, and deep-rooted love.
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stresskitten: (Default)

September 2017


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