2009 Second Prize in Poetry

I’m From by Juante Walters

I’m from the wild streets
From the alley with dead cats and dogs
From a place where pigeons are called “Flying Rats”
I’m from the streetlights that come on thirty minutes late

I’m from the old shady green walls in grandma’s favorite restaurant
From the big shoe box that had nothing
But baby pictures of my mother’s grandmother
From the disaster play in 2nd grade
I’m from the apartment where cops found the body of a human, but without the head.

I’m from the brownish greenish grass in the front lawn
From the old rocking chair that my great grandmother used to rock my grandmother in
From my mother saying “Watch your mouth” and me saying
“But I can’t see my lips”
From my “doggy” following us to church and back. 
From the government cheese my aunt used to share with us
I’m from my grandmother’s prom dress
From my father’s busted up Mustang
From ‘89
From the streets that I call home

 

<Thornton Wilder Writing Competition