I AM FROM

I am from a sister sandwich, I’m from the middle, the peanut in peanut butter.
From a Navy ship gangway, a mother with two arms and three children and a leash that held me in range.
I am from two sisters in silk-lined coffins. I will see you in heaven, Heidi and Debbi.
I am from a Navy chief father, a square jaw and a high forehead under a proud hat. From the language of dash dot dot dash.
I am from Dorothy, not the Oz, but from a river of logs. Tiny in triple-A shoes, straight-A student, as fiery as her hair.
I am from President Grant and Buffalo Bill and before the cry, “the British are coming, the British are coming.
I’m not from God Save the Queen, only sung when she appeared
O Canada is not where I’m from, but a citizen I was.
I’m from a safe place inside a pungent hay bale on the prairie
or burrowed in a tunnel of snow, quiet like a marmot.
I am from a ground-level window seat for a performance of Symphony in the Sky with special lighting effects.
I am from the Watchbird is watching you. And Big Brother is watching you.
I am from God the Eternal One is watching me under a Banner of Love.
I am from Grandma Esther with coiffed hair and elegant piano fingers. Needlepoint pricks and yarn needle clacks and bonsai forests.
From her husband who died too young, followed by a son.
From she had to sell the family home, her farm and antique shop in Nebraska.
I am from her dainty tuna sandwiches cut in fourths, sliced apples, and a cookie.
I am from Grandma Susan with loose bun hair and stooped shoulders.
From canned food in jars and powdered milk, a house built by two that held eight.
From a banana-shaped bench smoothed by years of children’s rears.
From a hiking club, neighbors honey in gallon jars, slivers of soap in gallon jars
From her husband who died too young, from married again to a high school friend.
I am from San Diego, a native island in Hawaii, Long Beach, Wilmington, Three Hills, Los Angeles, Orange, Hawthorne, Torrance, Cypress, Yorba Linda, Garden Grove, Buena Park
In my childhood alone.

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