I am from kinu fields and orange groves
From green bangles and crayola crayons
I am from Saved By The Bell and Garfield on childhood Saturday mornings.
I am from schoolyard bullies and sleepover slumber parties
From pizza and taco night and buttery potato parathas.
I am from Amelia Badelia, and Pele’s Coat. From Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club. From Judy Blume and Irene Hunt.
I am from library cards and backyard swing sets, from carvel ice cream, and constant make believe.
I am from notebooks filled with stories written not from want but insatiable need.
I am from chai cups, and dinner parties, from mixed tapes, and BFF heart chains.
From sandy beaches and long pants, from warm sunny skies and skin lighteners.
I am from Harpers Ferry and Days Inn. From Disney World and road trips.
And brothers, rotating in the same orbit of my universe.
I am from Hurricane Andrew that leveled my life and from the laughter at nail polish that remained unscathed as the world lay in fits of debris at our feet.
I am from farmers, and land owners, from Hindus and Turks. From converts and reverts. From a man who took a plane ride from the only place he knew to a place he never saw, and from a woman who also chose to do the same.
From the streets of Cordova, Costa Rican volcanoes, Blue Mosques and the crashing waves of Oahu,
From Midwestern snow days, Little Panda and sushi. I am from hookah, and Friday dinners,
and from my safe space to land.
I am from those that never were.
I am from the one that is.
Thankful to Tracy for sharing this meme with me, one that was harder to write than I could have imagined but well worth the effort. As a Pakistani-American who is asked this question on a regular basis, it’s therepeutic to consider where one is truly from, the experiences that make our life. I’m sure I will be revising and adding to this poem as time goes on. If you wish to do one to share on your own blog or to write privately, here is one of the links as to how to do it. Most don’t follow the template, but no matter how you choose to write it, you’ll be glad you did.