I put together this “Where I’m From” poem, based on a poem of the same name by George Ella Lyon. There’s a bunch of versions of this template, but I made this one specifically for the youth justice work I do. It’s a simple project– designed to be something you can phone in, or something you can dig deeply into. I thought I’d share it along with one version of poem I created based on this template.
I am from a door I keep wide open,
from postage stamps and a prison stinger.
I am from forgiveness and smarts.
I am from aloe vera,
(I tended the plant outside the house that turned out firefighters,
paid them in pennies, and sent them back with burns.
I broke its leaves for them.)
I am from the United States,
from jailhouse kool-aid packets, and ramen cake.
I am from cold, tight handcuffs.
I am from “You’ll be back”,
and clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.
I am from peacocks that fled the coop,
escaping with bellies full of broken aloe,
fearfully and wonderfully made.