The Stuff of Life

Where I’m From


I joined a writer’s group online this past summer. One assignment was to read the poem Where I’m From by George Ella Lyons and then use it as inspiration to write a few stanzas of our own. Here is what I came up with. If you were raised in a small midwestern town, maybe you can relate.

Where I’m From

By Kim Harms

I am from a wood-burning stove and a sprawling yard on the outskirts of town where one blinking red stoplight hangs over middle mainstreet and cornfields grow as far as the eye can see.

I am from hardworking calloused hands, a father who wanted a good life for his kids. I am from soft gentle hands, a seamstress mother who with quiet strength passed her faith to her children.

I am from Saturday tea with Grandma and Sunday pot roast after worship. I am from raspberry bushes, rhubarb crisp, sweet corn and green beans. From cousins aplenty, hand sewn dresses, slumber parties, and Friday night football games. I am from hot summer days and cold winter nights.  A place where my dreams were born and grown but sent elsewhere to be realized.

Where I’m From
by George Ella Lyons

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the black porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments-
snapped before I budded-
leaf-fall from the family tree


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

2 thoughts on “Where I’m From

  1. I love reading your words!

  2. I love this! We’re going to do this for school this week. 🙂

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