Where I Come From/ poem by Courtney Williams

I come from brochures collected

from the amusement parks where

someone’s mother sat and waited

for the children to return from

the bright blue loop-di-loop.

I come from board games,

Trouble, Sorry and Uno,

Played with cousins of cousins.

And the tears would flow

when the little one didn’t finish first. 

I come from running through the sprinkler

on hot July days and watching bright fireworks

lighting the sky at night. Mr. Softee vanilla

ice cream and rainbow sprinkles

melting and racing down my wrist.

I come from oils of lavender,

peppermint and eucalyptus

diffused out of a small bowl

of boiling water when sickness knocked

and made its way inside.

I come from water jugs filled with

pennies, nickels and dimes in

dark and dingy half-tone basements, scary

laundry rooms, and night-lights illuminating

the corners where the monsters pop-out.

I come from homemade desserts,

family recipes, and annual competitions

where Grandma’s classic sweet potato pie

always seemed to win. Somehow,

the many stuffed faces neglected to care.

I come from the smell of barbeque on the

fired up grill and the loud soul music

blasting from the 7 year old speaker.

Where people danced and laughed

and sang along to Kool & The Gang.

I come from newborn babies crying from the

bright blood red pews on Sunday mornings.

The Gospel being sung and Mr. Preacher-Man

delivering the word of the Lord to the half-asleep

children and the members of the choir.

I come from hour long car drives,

airport visits, and staying in musty hotel rooms,

and the family banner waving across

the huge ballroom where we all gather

and say hells and goodbyes.

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Courtney Williams is a writer and theatre actor from Long Island, currently based in the Hudson Valley. She spends her free time hosting the ‘Itz My Wrld’ podcast and watching Survivor.

 

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