I am from a Snoopy lunchbox,
a rickety cart with a tiny black and white TV,
waxed paper and Strawberry Quik.
I am from the red house on Bayside Avenue
the rambling parsonage on the hill
the splintery-sided duplex
white siding in the suburbs.
Loyal Smutley, orange Volvo, fresh cut grass
Grandpa praying for unwitting sinners in the Sunday leaves.
I am from the woods behind the house
woodchucks, rat snakes, box turtles,
the allure of touch-me-nots--but only the fat ones pop.
I am from "not before six o'clock" on Christmas morning,
Saturday special breakfast,
From Earl and Louise and the far-off Moores.
I am from towering stacks of library books in crinkly plastic
and from moving boxes never unpacked.
From the marriage of "one right way" to "shades of gray."
I am from Sunday School, peace rallies,
boxes sent to a Mississippi family,
rice and tea like the children in Cambodia.
I'm from Tunkhannock, the Dutch rub,
brownies and maple walnut ice cream.
From great grandfathers black with coal dust,
a great aunt (or cousin once removed?) in France,
Nicholson File, Lincoln Bank.
I am from thick, crumbling sepia photographs:
Is that Grandma? Who's he?
Did they really take a picture of her after she died?
I am from jumpy, faded, silent home movies:
Mom in polyester and cat-eye glasses
Dad in shorts and knee socks, trips I never knew I took.
I am from a scrapbook for each child and another for the whole family:
Combing through childhood photos to recall
that couch, those shorts, don't you still have that teddy bear?
Scrapbook photos of a family reunion 30 years back, long-lost cousins.
Digital photos of another family reunion, cousins found.
The original post is from June 2006 (wow, I was blogging in 2006??), and can be found here, with explanations and links to the source material, and Mom & Lisa's versions in comments.
This came up today because Dad read me a (partial) version that he's been working on, and which he is welcome to post in comments here.