Here are some selected lines from the "Where I'm From" poetry assignment. This was based on a poem by George Ella Lyon. These selected lines come from students in first and fifth period English.
Where I'm From...
I am from a house you can see from the freeway
from dog hair and hardwood floors.
From potatoes and tacos
And removing all the Barbies' hair and putting it in a doll house
My brother's trophies in his closet to my academic awards on my shelf
I am from go play outside and keep your chin up
And patience is a virtue, child
From the time my uncle ate dog food to try and impress
The girls next door.
From Thanksgiving at my grandparent's and the right-handed cousins.
That picture of us three
That will forever hang on the white board.
From the time my uncle left us in the woods
We ran and hopped across rocks, dodging snakes
My mom carrying the dog on her back
Tears stream down my face as I think how proud my Nono would be.
I'm from it's ok to cut people out of your life and the truth hurts.
From Grandma's cooking and Uncle Tim sleeping in the truck
My great grandfather's knife
On the shelf in the office, since he passed away.
From the T.V. always on even if no one's watching just to fill up the small silences.
I'm from the house in the middle that looks exactly like all the other ones
It's crowded sometimes but it feels empty most of the time.
From the apartment on the hill
That smells like tea and cakes and comfort
The muted tones of photographs of people I barely remember.
From Don't worry about the people who talk behind your back,
They're behind you for a reason.
I'm from brown eyes and fat fingers
From Gilton and Roxana
I'm from jokes I don't get and talking too much
And from eating too much.
I'm from Novato and Italy
Pasta and Pizza
Pine cones from Lake Tahoe
on the fireplace mantel
I'm from nail-biting and obnoxious laughter
And from the songs that never end.
From the witch lady and my magic horse that kept me safe
And "Aye, aye, aye, aye, poof!"
I'm from cleaning and working hard
And The Yellow Submarine and You Belong with Me
From Jack and I secretly eating ice cream when we're home alone.
I'm from Go to your room and That's a no no.
A new goodnight song my mom came up with every week
From the story of how my grandpa lost both of his legs.
It happened when he was jumping train cars and fell between them.
I'm from El Salvador and the U.S.A.
Ramen and hash browns.
I am from the blazing, bright light on the nightstand next to my bed
From white sneakers and tea tree shampoo
The ticket to my first every Warriors basketball game
Kept in my dresser drawer underneath all my books
The day I remember as if it was just yesterday
I am from flimsy door knobs made of brass
from tech products like Dell and Intel
I am from apartments coated in shades of green
pine scents through the windows as well as smooth walls.
I'm from doing my first communion in Spanish and eating tamales
I'm from You're instigating and Don't hurt your sister!
And You can do it!
Papusas and yuca frita
My Grandfather saving my father at the beach. My father caught in a
wave my grandfather pulling him out.
I am from the comfort and coolness of the home I've lived in since birth,
The smell of food.
I am from the Lilacs in my kitchen.
The Redwood tree right outside my door,
Whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.
I am from the squishy couch cushions in the living room
From Salami in the fridge and foamy soap in the bathroom.
I am from the house with all the plants in the front
I am from the pink roses
I am from the big tall eucalyptus tree whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.
I am from first communions
I'm from Greenbrae, CA and Guanajuato, Mexico
Tamales and pozole.
My Great Grandma's necklace
in a locked box
I'm from shopping sprees on birthdays
I'm from Marin County and Thailand
From pranks my father used to pull
The upside down rooms.
I am from gluten free donuts on Thanksgiving and a laugh that makes babies cry
From the time my grandpa forgot to put the plug in the boat
Already off of the boat launch slowly sinking with me in his arms.
I am from never give up and practice makes perfect.
And if you hit the bottom, the only way to go is up.
I am from the noisy old fridge that kept me up
From off brand Cheez-Itz and broken Schwinn bicycles.
I'm from the condo identical to all the others, except for the defiant red door.
I'm from Secret Santa at midnight, on Christmas
I'm from San Francisco, California and Hidalgo, Mexico
Camarones al a diabla and enchiladas
The big willow tree that sings when the wind dances
Whose long gone limbs I remember
As if they were my own.
I am from the kitchen cabinet that holds the secrets to baking
From the flour and sugar and eggs to pan
Rice and curry
From my uncle playing in the dark
When the power went out
My little sister playing tag
Replayed in my heart
I am from the trampoline in the yard
From iPads, iPhones and MacBooks.
I am from the table in the dining room
From honey and salt
Beans and quesadillas
From my brother losing his shoes at the store
And my mom, not very happy about it.
I am from a bed with pillows everywhere
from the Captain Crunch and organic milk
Me and my crayon buddy lello since I couldn't say yellow
All placed within a box in the closet.
I am from the house on top of the hill
That always smells like home cooking.
I am from the rosemary we grow outside
The pear tree by the gate
Whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own
I'm from watching too much TV makes your eyes go square and
Goodnight, I love you, don't let the bedbugs bite.
I am from the small door next to the flower garden
The one with the blue paint on it.
I am from my black, coin filled couch
From the Biore face wash and Homemade rags
I am from the house on the boulevard with all the plants.
I am from respect your elders and eat everything on your plate.
That song Another One Bites the Dust.
The special way my grandma made eggs and oysters.
I am from the apartments passing the freeway going to San Rafael
The one that feels like my safety zone.
I am from the moss on the stone wall in my backyard
The purple-flowered plant that grows just outside the front door
Whose branches held me while my mother took pictures