Where I'm From

I am from mud pies,
From sugarcane and pond-raised catfish.
I am from the little blue house with the broken wooden porch:
Old fashioned, crowded.
I am from the bloom of the magnolia
The petal-like evergreens
Whose glossy white leaves
Scatter the farmlands like dry snow.
I'm from the gingerbreads and long legs
From Ethel Ree and Maggie Lee
And the outgoing personality of Papa Prince.
I'm from the maternal life struggles of diabetes,
And strict southern beatings.
From the raisings of yes and no ma'am
And you must give respect to earn respect.
I'm from the foot-stomping, toe-tapping,
Country Baptist preaching and teachings.
From the lung my grandfather lost to cancer
And the mouth my mom keeps shut to keep peace.
The old trunk flowing with memories
Of family youth, happiness, and hopeful dreams.
I am the future of those dreams from a place
Where Martin Luther King's "The American Dream"
Was there only hope for a dream.
I am me-a seed from this family tree.

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