I Am From Family…


We have a writer in the family

and it’s not me.

My precious Olivia, an English major with a sweet spirit and cheerful disposition, just learned she won first place for a poem she wrote earlier this year. A cash award sweetened the prize.

Beautiful OliviaIMG_0348

Friends, this girl has a way of putting words together that touches the soul.

But don’t take my word for it…   


“Where I’m From”

I am from love,
from laughter and simplicity.
I am from the cobwebs we leave in the corners.
(Too busy with living,
we leave them.)
I am from the pine and the oak,
the thousands of needles
we’d gather and we’d toss.
I am from respect and courage. 

I’m from sweet tea and chlorine,
       from Laura Ingalls and Jane Austen.
I’m from ballet shoes and baseball bats,
       poptarts and lunchables and toaster waffles.
from “You don’t let me do anything!”
       and from confusion and from humiliation and
            from ingratitude.

I am from pride in my goodness
       and from resentment at having to be good.
I am from doing the right things for the wrong reasons.
       I am from rebellious young years. 

I’m from the cul-de-sac and Campbell’s soup childhood,
       from the next door neighbors and after-dinner driveway dribbling,
From the stacks of library books and Dad’s old station wagon,
       from we-can’t-afford-that, and from don’t-roll-your-eyes-at-me. 

I’m from Mama Dean’s back porch and the harvest from the garden,
       from strong coffee and crossword puzzles and
from her two beloved book-stuffed libraries,
       from her breast cancer, and chemo, and surgeries, and from pills.
              From courage despite fear, and from joy despite grief.
       Take joy. 

I am from death and from wild, choking grief,
       from death is not dying.
       I am from her life and her leadership,
              from her hope and from her heart.
       I am from years of memories.
       I am from the answer to her prayers.

I am from giving thanks.
I am from family.

3 responses »

  1. Congratulations!! How anyone can cover 22 years in a poem is beyond me. ( I confess that the only assignment in school I never finished was to write a poem-Bette) It was a beautiful tribute to her family and to her grandmother. Poppa Gene and Bette

  2. we have always known she was both smart and beautiful, now the world is just beginning to get a glimpse of her awesomeness as well. Congratulations on an outstanding daughter and the first of many outside accolades.

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