Where I’m From – An Adaptation of a George Lyons Poem


If you would’ve told me at age 22 that I would become the mama of three boys and learn to love backpacking, poop jokes and football, I would’ve said, “Um, no, I don’t think so.”

If you would have told me on my 40th birthday that I would receive a breast cancer diagnosis one month later, I would have said, “You’re off your rocker. I hardly even have boobs to begin with…how in the world can they be cancerous?”

If you would’ve told me one year ago that I would be typing this sentence with a dog on my lap, I would have said, “You silly goose.  You’ve got me mistaken for someone else. I will never, ever, ever own a dog.”

That’s the funny thing about life. We think we have it all figured out. We know the plan. We see the trajectory in our mind’s eye. And then BOOM, it changes. Just like that. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse. (I’m still trying to figure on which end of that spectrum the dog lands.)

But what doesn’t change is our past. Everything stays there. And sometimes when the things of today are uncertain, reminiscing about the past can bring joy to the soul. As I’m thinking about Christmas and spending time with family, I’m so very thankful for my past. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but the good memories of my childhood far outweigh the bad ones. The following poem modeled after Where I’m From by George Ella Lyons, is a glimpse of those memories. (It was a really good writing exercise. If you’re a word person, try your own version and send it my way.)

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.

Categorized as Life

By KimHarms

Kim Harms is an author, speaker, and part-time library assistant with two decades of freelance writing experience. She has a degree in English from Iowa State University. She and her husband Corey have three super-awesome sons and one crazy dog. A two-time breast cancer survivor, her first book, Life Reconstructed: Navigating the World of Mastectomies and Breast Reconstruction (Familius), is a guide for women walking the breast cancer road. She is currently working on her second book, a devotional for women going through breast cancer.

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