“I Am From” Collaborative Poem

by Casa di Mir Montessori School Middle School Students for Grandfriends Day Nov. 22, 2016

I am from Lavender and Redwood
From the immigration to America, the start of this family, and the courage that runs through this family
From the living room filled with people humming the same song and from endless sessions of laughter
And from hugging and kissing everyone in the family even if they are strangers to me
From people who truly care for each other
I am from San Francisco and Santa Clara
From urban, yet beautiful
I am from the Christmas fruit cakes and the I love yous
From the McNitt’s and the Knoth’s and me
I am from a pitiful lemon tree whose pitiable branches refused to grow
From the Otake family and the Chow family
I am from alice-blue carpets and the brocade curtains that wave a hello every time a breeze dances in
I am from basketball, Lego and Adidas
I am from pictures of my family in my house, where memories will always be remembered
I am from spider plants whose leaves are growing all over the place
I am from the Swiss Alps to the dryness of California and to Romania from snow up in the Sierras
I am from the light brown book shelf, the dark brown photobook, from the pictures standing on the Chinese
cloth
I am from a familiar green house and a green field with a ball
From petting my orange cat
From a tiny village in the mountains
I am from music notes to peaceful silence
From Kruger and Paeschke
I am from the loving arms of my grandparents
From the day I was born
Till the day I die
I am from ‘Coffee Reverie” and reading at night
I am from amazing friends and everlasting happiness, to going on adventures in fantasy lands
I am from lighting incense and candles; irradiating the kitchen
I am from the colonized city of Hong Kong and the diminutive state of Hawaii
I am from stinky socks and rolls of quarters
From Yurgel and Kryhin
From Clorox and Ziploc
I am from the Festival of National Cultures
From playing the violin
I am from don’t say I know and eat all your food
I am from no religion, but from Christmas
From curry and grandma’s chicken soup
I am from a bike and books from Kinsey and Danilla
From our Romanian dinner with Mamaliga, Samula and Buff salad every Christmas with friends
I am from growing up
I am from the now pants and t-shirt look
From getting away with everything to now nothing
I am from grandma’s TV to grandpa’s sports battles
I am from the pool face offs, to the ping pong rivalries
I am from carnivores. From meat and potatoes
I am from family, from Abuela, and Aunt-Grandma Nurit
I am from the dusty vault that lies peacefully beneath my grandmother’s house, where hundreds
of years’ treasures sit untouched.
I am from Grandma Pat and Grandpa Richard, from pumpkin pie to Pizzelle cookies
I am from my father’s upcountry adventures and from my grandfather’s Indian artifacts
I am from San Jose and Argentina
From Israel, schnitzel and potato pie
Sleeping in a closet are a wealth of older letters,
Written mementos preserved in paper.
Those are fragments of the life my ancestors led.
I will always be from the tired days awoken by the everlasting energy from grandpa and grandma because I am
from my grandparents.