Friday, January 31, 2014

Where I'm From poems

*One of my favorite writing assignments of the semester is a version of George Ella Lyon's Where I'm From poem. First my students write about their family, then they write a version based on any other group they're part of. I write my own poems along with them for the different groups where I belong.

HSE Junior High

I am from blue hall passes, Expo dry erase markers, FBC sweatshirts and assignment notebooks

I am from the walls of lockers (tan, metal, they smell like sweat, old lunches and Victoria’s Secret lotion)

I am from the cornfields across the road and the newly planted trees in the parking lot

I am from the Amazing Race every fall, daily video announcements with cardboard nuggets of teachers, from KCraig and Hodgin

I am from try-hards and involved-in-everything

From “Do your best” and “Be PAWSitive Panthers”

I’m from going the extra degree, Wyld Life Club and a moment of silence after the pledge

I’m from Cyntheanne Road and Southeastern Parkway, taco triangles and chocolate chip cookies on Thursdays that everybody sits on to warm up

From the raccoon that got loose in the boys’ bathroom and the girl that threw pencils into the ceiling

I am from yearbook pages of pictures, the teachers and students that filled these hallways and desks before me, the ones that taught and learned for 180 days each year

Young Life

I’m from friendship bracelets, from dance parties and snapback hats

I am from the bonfire in the woods (winding path up the hill, canopy of tall oak trees and a circle of plastic folding chairs)

I am from the gym under the garage and the front row of every Club room

I am from eating Big Cookie in one chaotic attack and YL spirit jerseys, from leading with KCraig and Hannah

I am from the partiers and the church kids, the Varsity team and the Destination-Imaginationers, the sevies and the Seniors

From You Were Made For This and Club starts at 7:32

I’m from a God that say you are the best of the very best and nothing will ever change that

I’m from Timberwolf Lake and Sharp Top Cove, pizza before Campaigners and dinner dates at Steak n’ Shake

From the flash flood on Libby’s birthday and the snow storm that cut our trip in half

I am from hours of conversations and prayers, questions shared in circles of friends or between a leader and kid, pin points on the map of our walk with Christ and our walk with each other

Camp Tecumseh

I’m from tangled gymp string, North Face backpacks and Diet Coke at pop stop

I am from the shallow end of the Richard G Marsh Lake (slimy, murky, digging through sand to find the gray clay)

I am from the tree you’re not allowed to climb on the porch side of Hopi and the stars that shine so bright every single night

I’m from singing Taylor Swift on your chair during lunch, red, yellow and blue swim bands on every wrist, from CILTs and Blazers

I am from the mud-hikers, the story-tellers and expert-blobbers

From no talking on the Silent Bridge and don’t forget to have a great day

I’m from singing in the Green Cathedral, Johnny Appleseed before dinner and candlelit devotions before bed

I’m from the Brova and Choctaw, baked oatmeal and Smooncat’s craisins

From the night we hid in the Crow’s Nest to the time we ate fireflies that exploded in our mouths

In my backpack was a time capsule of the summer—faded friendship bracelets, love tank notes, cabin pictures and a red bead from the Sagamore Creed—I am from 9 weeks of living the dream with my Tecumseh family and memories that last a lifetime

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