my origins (aka: where I am from)

I am from storybooks and

Cabbage Patch dolls,

from a box of 124 crayons.

I am from cinnamon rolls, banana bread,

and gravy poured over broken biscuits.

From yellow and green gingham,

the CareBears, and pink and blue bows.

I am from the new, new house

in a little bit of Forth Worth.

From the parsonage next to

the small-town church

with the two story slide.

I am from mud pies,

picnics in the front yard,

porch swings and rocking chairs.

I am from “life is not fair”

and “I told you so.”

From washing windows on Saturday

and it’s your turn to empty the dishwasher.

I am from preachers,

Sunday school teachers,

and the church pianist.

I’m from Jesus Loves the Little Children,

and Great is Thy Faithfulness.

I’m from pajama days

and a little black pick-up truck.

From chicken and dumplings,

chips and salsa, peppermint birthday cakes,
and don't forget the Diet Coke and Bluebell.

I'm from Podunk, Arkansas
and Smalltown, Texas.

From huge family get-togethers, days on the lake,

and Christmas at Grandma’s.

I am from the woman who tossed cold water on her rowdy boys,

the high school sweethearts who married,

the boy who was tricked to run down a steep hill,

the strangers who met on a bus.

I am from the boy who jumped off a bridge and broke his nose,

from the girl in the fluffy pink sweater who hated her curls.

I am from Dot and Joe, Mildred and Euel, Joi and Ken,

from love and laughter, faith and family,

hugs and kisses.


Giving credit where credit is due: Poems like this have been circling the web for awhile now--I first remember seeing them in the winter/spring of 2005.  They are inspired by George Ella Lyons' poem "Where I'm From." And, there is even a template to help you get started if you'd like to write your own.


  1. I LOVED reading this, Amanda! There's something about the cadence of this poem [maybe it's something else, too], but whatever it is about these "Where I'm From" poems makes me have goosebumps every time I read one! I enjoyed reading where you were from. You've probably seen mine - it's on my sidebar. I think it's a good exercise for anyone to think thru and write.

  2. That is so neat. Nice to meet you. You know what's funny? I'm from podunk Arkansas too, but I never claim it or tell anyone until I really have to. I was born there, but thankfully I got to grow up in Texas. I've always been pretty bitter about my mom making me be born outside of Texas. At least my two kids can claim Native Texan status. My husband and I met and married in Ft. Worth right there at the court house.

  3. This poem is so cool. I'm showing it to my daughter. It's neat to think about how we're all "from" similar places. I don't see much difference except I played with different dolls. LOL ((hug))

  4. Very comforting - cozy words!
    I am all about the chips and salsa!

  5. Hi Amanda, been lurking for a couple of weeks so I thought it was time to speak up and this presented a wonderful opportunity to! I recently posted about the poem ( too. It actually began as a lesson I planned for my students (Year 10s). And I did it too just to make sure it was do-able and I enjoyed doing it! I made a template as well (, cause although I found the one you linked too, I didn't like it.
    Have you thought of getting your students to write one?

  6. This was so neat; I sent the link out to everyone in my family begging them to do one. My daughter is writing hers now. And I'm assigning this to my literature classes tomorrow.

  7. thats so kool its hind of funny too., im gonna try to do it to but the questions are a little wierd :) sam p.s. your brother


  9. Curl hating, fluffy pink sweater girl (mom)September 27, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    WOW...that is awesome....I love, love, love few words to bring back such a flood of different memories!!

  10. It was so fun to write.
    And, I did the same thing too AllyJo--I sent out an email asking family to write one too. It would be so neat to have a collection of these from different generations!
    I've thought about asking my writing students to do compose one of these, but we are an "academic writing" class. However, I might use it when we talk about description or when we like Marianne did when we work on autobiographies. We'll see. . .


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