Friday, March 18, 2016

Where I'm From

Modeled after George Ella Lyon's poem Where I'm From, my students created their own poems about their family they live with and any other group that's important to them. I wrote three poems about Young Life, Tecumseh and the Clubhouse. 

I am from love tanks, from YL camp shirts and Camelbak water bottles covered in stickers
I am from the front porch of the Devoe's barn (porch swings, rocks to climb, it feels like home)
I am from the beach at Castaway, the lake at Timberwolf that is circled by leaders and campers on 1 on 1s
I am from the single clap after Amen, throw what you know, from Jib and Spinnaker
I am from everybody's in and you were made for this
From "What sticks out to you?" and "Let's sing again"
I'm from Tov Meod, 20 minutes and Campaigners in the cubby room
I'm from Sharp Top and Michindoh, from Big Cookie and dinners cooked by YL moms
From the blizzard at Timberwolf and the flash flood of 2013
I am from conversations-- words spoken, stories shared and questions asked-- in cabins, across tables and around circles that have connected all of us to weave a family

I am from forgotten pencils in the hallway, Doritos in the lunch line & iPads on every desk
I am from the Clubhouse, upstairs and downstairs, friends not frills
I am from blue lockers, the bell that rings after 45 minutes of class
I am from feathers and wings, from Trulock & Feldman
I am from try-hards and rate-date-tbh
From ready, set, write and put away your device
I am from a minute of silence before the Pledge of Allegiance
I'm from Switzer's Junior High and the years on Cyntheanne, taco triangles and cheese crunchers on blue trays
From the underdog of the dodge ball tournament and the year we got stranded on the DC field trip
On my classroom walls are collages of pictures, in informal yearbook of faces that tell the stories of these halls, the memories of 7th and 8th graders woven together like the bracelets from FBC

I am from friendship bracelets, wolf shirts and best friend necklaces
I am from the Longhouse porch (brown, weathered, room for all 48 of us)
I am from the Party Room, the hike to the Gish that inevitably covered all of our shoes in mud
I am from glitter bombs, styrofoam graduation hats, from Choctaw and Brova
I am from the Torchbearers and stay overs, the started-as-a-Brave and wanna-be-counselors
From living the dream and I've waited for this all year
I am from devotions under the stars and chapel beside our campers in the Green Cathedral
I'm from Hopi and Abnaki, nerd ropes and corn dog towers
From Liz's birthday pinata and ruler chandelier, the hobo dinner cut short by torrential rains
I am from brown paper bags of love tank notes, the stacks of parent letters we sent in the mail and the Group Me messages that still keep showing up 9 months after we left camp

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