I am from academic chairs, from Bean Boots and Aunt Louise the Christmas cactus.
I am from the little brown Cape house, later gray, antiques and old photographs, comfortable sofas and wood fires.
I am from the brook, the ash tree with the soccer ball dangling from its dead branch.
I am from the paper crowns in Christmas crackers and dry humor, from Brown and Bock and Liston.
I am from inappropriate dinner conversations and a dark family secret aired. From three grandparents who would have loved me and a grandmother who loved me very much.
I am from lapsed Congregationalists and lost Methodists, a musty family Bible, my paternal grandmother’s confirmation corsage pressed within.
I’m from the city of commercial Valentines and Royal Corsets, the Black Forest, the Green Mountains, St. Andrews, Amsterdams old and New, macaroni and cheese and my grandmother’s gingerbread cookie recipe.
From my father, who once licked a parking meter on a winter’s day. His grandmother yanked him off, along with the skin of his tongue. My mother, who tried to flush her baby sister down the toilet.
I am from cemeteries and my mother’s writing desk, shoe boxes and storage containers in the crawl space behind my parents’ bed, photographs and news clippings, letters and genealogy charts.
This post is a response to a Red Dress Club prompt from months ago, titled “Where I’m From”, but I only found the words to finish it now, as the year is both ending and beginning. So here it is, a view of myself as the year turns.
Happy New Year!