Where I’m From by Gary Boyd
I am from books by the dozen that started me dreaming, from Lava Soap and bare feet in summer always dirty.
I am from the Deep South, coastal plains and high clouds; sky as big as the whole of existence; sun and heat, humidity and rain (sometimes at the same time).
I am from the oak, the broad shade of summer; large comforting limbs for imaginary castles: height in a world that lacked hills.
I am from potato soup and corn bread, from Linville’s and Sewell’s and Pearson’s.
I am from the men of shiny skulls and mother hens who ruled the roost.
From Indian Princesses and Sooners (they thought).
I am from Baptist traditions with new age tendencies. Looking to the Far East for a guiding set of principles I am pulled in different ways.
I’m from four generations of Texans coming from North Carolina via many routes, pinto beans and bacon and biscuits.
From the great-grandmother who died too young, the grandfather who didn’t mind the questions I chattered, and the father who was always gone.
I am from the pictures my mother keeps safe, the history I have tracked down in courthouse basements and now pass on to the cousins who care, the old bibles hiding in sock drawers that listed those who came before me who I never knew.