I saw this awesome writing exercise over at Ramblin' Red's blog and, taking into consideration that I do tend to get lost and sometimes feel as if I don't know if I'm coming or going (okay, a lot) also, I am currently, suffering from a slight case of summertime mommy brain (what, you too?!?) and seeing it's ONLY July 5th (I think) I've decided to give it a whirl.
There's a template of prompts to follow and, ideally, help to create something of myself, while reading like no other poem, in existence (we'll see) here we go:
- I am from my Grandmother's freshly-ironed apron, from lemon Pledge and my father's record collection of Broadway musicals.
- I am from a working class home, in a less than desirable neighborhood, where children were left to play in streets filled with the smell of smoked meat and pot holes, covered with cinder blocks and plywood, "borrowed" from construction sites, that were laid on top and fashioned into bike ramps, left to roast in the summertime heat.
- I am from the fresh green smell of parsley root and the spiciness of Hungarian peppers, carefully planted in abundantly lush rows of raised beds, caressed by callused hands, then laid to rest in a make-shift green house of plastic wrap and leftover piping.
- I am from chicken soup on Sundays and sharing stories with men and women (mostly true) made old before their time, while their children swung under willow trees, or chased each other among the hot dog carts, remembering grandparents they have never met, with strange sounding, yet familiar names, like Katkics and Kiss.
- I am from that family, who never seemed to learn how to fully close windows and doors (especially, in the summertime) and would rather go to bed angry, or wake in silence, than have to face fighting, yet another day.
- From this house, children must not be heard, but you must listen and do as I say, right or wrong, it's for your own good.
- I am from kneeling while praying in church, as a punishment at home, or asking for forgiveness, having forgotten to cover my head, in an act of absolute humility, again.
- I'm from New Jersey, the first generation to be born on American soil, by way of Hungarian immigrants, growing up in war torn streets and made world weary as teenagers, who then met each other, through surrogate family members, building on a strong foundation, for the love of family, whose roots are buried deep in Hungarian Goulash and Paprika, preferably Kalocsai.
- From the grandmother who chose to immigrate to America, as the lesser of 2 evils, in an attempt to escape an abusive husband, by herself, with my mother and my Aunt Theresa (who was only 4 years-old at the time) sadly, from the man who eventually found them, and, though he has been dead to us, for over 20 years and, although I cried, having recently found his obituary, I am thankful that he is no longer on this earth.
- I am from a secret place, deep inside the belly of a long-neglected room, hiding behind trunks of old clothes and 8 mm home movies, wearing my grandmother's stole, made of real mink (with their heads still attached) and trying on an old pair of peep-toed heels, listening to the furnace, as it comes to life behind me and consumes another shovelful of coal, granting me audience, as I pretend that my life is a movie, I become my own story.
Curiously enough, the photo (waaaaaaay up there) is from a showcase featured as Freedom and Liberty and, well, I thought it just sort of fits, you know?
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