First Draft

I know the question will come one day when we are far away from the watering holes and fabric shops. He will stop and innocently ask, “Where am I from?” Today as we walk, I find the time to begin drafting my response. 

You are from cocoa, roasted and unsweetened, made especially not to melt in the sun,

You are from old wooden boards nailed together and painted blue, humble, functional, and rough to the touch, 

You are from broken trees with bottle brush flowers and woody pods that make music on windy days,

You are from long, slow walks and talking to strangers, 

From Evon and Kunga,

You are from naming babies the day of the week they were born, from wearing colorful stories on backs,

From “Obroni” and “How’s my boy?”

From the ringing bells at a lime green church and the dusty white minaret hugging a tiny mosque, 

You are from Ghana, from the Ga, Ewe and Akan,

From crispy fried plantains and crunchy ground nuts,

From Abbayayo who pack a bit of everything good for long, moonlit journeys home,

From alley ways that let you disappear for a small moment in time,

And potholes that slow you down and help you notice the uneven ground around you.

This slice was inspired by Geoge Ella Lyon’s poem ’Where I’m From.”

9 thoughts on “First Draft

  1. This is such a lovely poem. The places, the actions, the objects, all so evocative. I especially love these lines:
    “You are from cocoa, roasted and unsweetened, made especially not to melt in the sun”
    and
    “You are from naming babies the day of the week they were born”
    (In Bali, children are named according to whether they are a boy or a girl and what order they are among their siblings.)

    Like

  2. I love this slice. When I taught fifth grade, I always had my student’s write these for their families. Lots of tears from parents. Thanks for the memory.

    Like

  3. This is a great twist on the Where I’m From format and your images are beautiful. The first line, “You are from cocoa, roasted and unsweetened, made especially not to melt in the sun,” really caught me and the other images just carried me away. This would make an incredible children’s book. I can just picture the illustrations. Lovely, again, as always.

    Like

  4. From crispy fried plantains and crunchy ground nuts,

    This is yet again an amazing slice. You have a lucky young boy and he’ll appreciate these slices all his life. Thank you for this inspiration.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s