Where I’m From

This blog is mostly about my cancer journey. It says so at the top. But wouldn’t it be a shame if every post was just an update from my MRI scans? (Next scan is August 26th)

Last year, NPR asked readers to submit their own version of George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From poem. I wanted to contribute, but I never finished my take in time. It’s done now, and I think it belongs here.


I am from Scott’s hopes and Kim’s dreams.
From Mountain Dew and Aqua Net.
I am from the place where the music died, not far from the trouble in River City. Loaded, bloated, obnoxious, and rusted.

I am from oak savannas, little blue stems, sweet corn and pesticide. Crowded, plastic, wanting, malignant.
I’m from the stage lights past the foyer, rock and roll’s greatest cathedral.
From Moose and Meg. I’m from wet, chocolate lab kisses. Romping cautiously through mounds of dog shit in the fresh cut grass. Water from a garden hose.

I’m from Nickelodeon on Saturday nights, sleeping in on Sunday mornings.
I’m from the halls of St. Joseph, mercy.
Pepperoni and green olives on my pizza, mom’s lasagna in my belly.

From the time dad shaved my head, trying to hold back tears from running down our cheeks. Mountains on the horizon.
The frightened and courageous.

In the back room, in a shoe box, and the chest under the stairs. Piles of dust, made from the same particles as the comets that dance across the dark prairie sky.

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