September 11, 2013

Where I'm From ... a poem based on a template

My Great-Aunt, "Big Clara" (who wasn't very big at all).


Here's my version of "Where I'm From"


Scraps of Me


I’m from sixties' suburbia,
p.b. & j and cheese-spread
in the canteloupe kitchen
of the brick bungalow
on Pyramid Crescent.

I‘m from blown dandelions
plucked daisies, and the buttercup test,
from pixie stix, pop rocks,
Dickie Dee bells
and candy cigarettes.

I’m from best-suit Sundays,
candle-lit Masses
and my father's tenor tones
carrying each hymn
from memory.

I’m from the seventh one
of the twelve bastard-spawned
Catholics of Rodney Drive, Belfast—
the son who crossed
the Atlantic.

I’m from corned beef and cabbage,
Feis Eirann and the Clancy Bros,
Murphy-jokes and miracles,
clay pipes and pots of gold
at the end of the rainbow.

I’m from the middle daughter
of the shunned ex-Baptist—
the Dominion Coal Company clerk
of Glace Bay, Cape Breton
Nova Scotia.

I’m from bloodsuckers, seaweed,
and salt-water... "out East Bay",
the house on Cottage Street
with the “Aren’t they gorgeous?”
sweet pea-beds, and tiger-lilies.

I’m from, "Who's like you
since Leather-arse died?"
and frequently,
"What do you think this is,
your Father's yacht?"

I'm from the roll of the sea
and the rise of the hills,
from blueberry pie,
“Big Clara’s” strawberry jam
and outdoor lobster feasts.

I’m from the nun-chase
across the Santana schoolyard
and the tear-stained
train-station farewell
at the age of 15.

I’m from acid-free albums
of corner-pointed pictures
and pinked photographs
of British army days
and “the old country”
in the footed tin box.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008

2 comments:

  1. I like this template so much because each one turns out so different but still good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it! I'm intrigued that it's based on a template.

    ReplyDelete