I am from blossom-scented orange groves,
From icey T G Lee milk and Hershey’s syrup swirled in a glass.
I am from the bread-box ranch house, shaded by the chinaberry,
slatted jalousies dripping with rain.
I am from the rambling oak trees draped with Spanish moss, the shocking bright azaleas and a soft blanket of heat and light.
I am from family dinners of fried fish outside under the trees, a murmur of reminiscences over syrupy tea and peach cobbler,
from Tanners, Joiners and Kannons, from Coopers and Kellys.
I am from the save up and make do,
From the do what you’re told and don’t ask questions.
I am from you must be born again and when will we see Jesus.
I am from the sandy scrub of Florida and the harsh red clay of Georgia mountains,
from crumbling corn bread, smokey pinto beans and bitter greens.
from mule trading farmers, hillbilly jacks of all trades,
and women in faded cotton dresses stirring sugary kettles of jam.
I am from quilts of cloth worn thin, a match box of the lost child’s treasures, wisps of scales played on the upright piano and a
cedar chest packed with a moth-eaten uniform in the shape of my father.