I’m grateful for a new friend’s suggestion to build a "Where I'm From" poem (see https://www.sausd.us/cms/lib/CA01000471/Centricity/Domain/3043/I%20Am%20From%20Poem.pdf) to help me focus my often dreamy ambitions. What emerges in the poem (which only took about a half hour, and I am no student of the genre) are my deepest sources of identity: the diversity of nature and culture; family; peace; and a healthy balance.
I am From
I am from a fruit tree
Of Panamanian bananas.
Then from the suburbs, cross-country,
Living in mostly drab houses, except for my parents’ contemporary, custom-built home.
I am from their well-intentioned teachings of service, book-learning and not giving up.
I am from their privileges and their love.
And Mom’s Lebanese roots.
Boutrous. Nassif. Attiyeh.
I am from that speech therapist and her white psychiatrist mate,
Who both care.
I am from a cautious, kind family,
Maybe to a fault.
I am a spiritual hodgepodge.
I am a salad, whiskey.
From the two tries it took Grandma to immigrate
To the mystery of Dad’s birth parents.
Our diaspora means scattered memorabilia,
So we take photos, preferring to leave no trace.