I am from a family of three self-centered girls, a strict German mother, and an Irish-German father.
I am from alcoholism, firm hands, and harsh words
from food on the table, clean clothes on my back, and a sturdy roof over my head.
I am from suburban Illinois, Florida, and Wisconsin
from friendly churches, long sandy beaches, and summertime festivals.
I am from white schools and red-necks with two parents longing for separation but too frightened or too lazy to leave.
I am from lonely scoliosis, back braces, and scars
from friends that drifted across the states.
I am from childhood education, mathematics, science, independence, and reason
from adulthood faith, arts, compassion, and generosity.
I am from Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Atheism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
I am from the engineering world of suits and ties to spandex-clad yogis
to spiritual meditators to placers of words.
I am from motherhood, two sons, wealth, and loss
from joy, sorrow, health, and pain.
I am from sushi, beef, and vegetarianism
from pesticides, herbicides, and organics.
I am from farmer’s markets and gardening with aged manure and soil under my fingernails.
I am from dashed dreams, hopeless hopes, and internal unrest
from peace, love, and calm.
I am from many colleges yet know nothing – no skills to share with certainty.
I am from here.