I Am From – Jordan Earls

I am from the white picket fence
From wooden rocking chairs and Jones’ cream soda
I am from the wraparound porch
     adorned with hanging baskets bursting over with
     warm orange, and gentle yellow
          touch-me-nots trembling
          in the cool southern breeze

I am from the blooming magnolia,
     evergreen gentlemen slow-dancing
     with ladies dressed elegantly
          in all the loveliest shades
          of yellow and white

I am from prayer and patience
From Bobby and Penny
I’m from always leaving later than planned and
     never turning down a hot-n-fresh Krispy Kreme donut
I’m from feeding the cocker spaniels
     and taking out the trash
I’m from heads bowed before supper,
     that nightly ritual of giving thanks
I’m from South Carolina arrayed in her southern charm,
     red velvet cake, and Mama’s sweet, sweet tea

I’m from the time Josh fell out of the shower,
     breaking the commode off the wall, yet
     somehow keeping his dignity intact
     (Well, maybe not completely intact)
And the time – no, countless times – my family has been
     there to show their beautiful and most unconditional
     love no matter what foolish thing I’d done

The small, dark space between my locker and
     my cooler contains something far greater than
     simple photos and hand-written letters
That small, dark space holds all that I have from a
     life worth living
     over and over
     and over again

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