i am from

I am from the canyon,
old river slithering fast.
From high desert browns and sagebrush greens.
from tumbleweed and roots, from winters white and bleak.

I am from pages turned at midnight,
imagination beating quicker than my heart.
From library shelves and basement schoolroom,
from the ceaseless “why?” and “what if?”

I am from that flooded Rupert yard,
an American dream from sturdy German hopes.
From “Bless us oh Lords” and rosaries,
from Protestant conversions and concordance.

I am from that crowded Kimberly house,
cousins, aunts, uncles passing full plates and laughter.
From my grandpa’s senile stories of a war he didn’t fight in,
from my grandma’s claim that sherbert counts as fruit.

I am from more history than we remember,
Puritans, a vice president,
immigrants and slave owners,
old countries and older dreams.
Crossing the Atlantic, farming Russian soil,
hands dirtied but clasped in prayer.

I am from open skies,
stars deeper than the horizon.
From the silence of the desert
to the storming roar of rain.

Part of the I Am From synchroblog at SheLoves.



  1. There’s so much here, Kate–thank you for linking up! I love reading where you are “from.”

    Your grandma’s claims made me smile.

    And I love this: “Crossing the Atlantic, farming Russian soil,
    hands dirtied but clasped in prayer.”

    1. Thanks for reading, Idelette, and thanks for a meaningful writing prompt. (:

  2. Beautiful and succinct poetry!

  3. Kaufman's Kavalkade · · Reply

    Fresno, CA by way of Richfield & Jerome say “Hi”.

  4. Dan McDonald · · Reply

    I always am prone to want to say something but on this I am content simply to read imagining hearing your voice read these words. Thank-you Kate.

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