A while back, I came across a template for a poem that was really cool. It took me a while to find bits of time to work on it, but here it is. I’ll probably think of a ton of things to add and change, but here is my first draft. It may be obvious, but this is dedicated to where I came from: Mom, Dad and Mike. If you read this without getting a little choked up, then I recant it all–I must not be related to you.

Where I Came From–Jennifer Bunch Tompkins

I am from Douglas firs and Super Mario Brothers. I’m from Psalty, Five Mile Creek and Ramona Quimby.

I am from the fourth house on the left, the cul-de-sac, from rooms kept cool in the summer by fans and closed blinds. I am from a true wood-burning fireplace.

I am from the roses and hydrangeas, from Veda, Trillium and Mirror.

I am from year-by-year collages in the hallway and toothbrushes in the kitchen; from Carters and Mulkeys and Helphensteins.

I am from quick to laugh and easy to cry, smart and smart-aleck; from photographs as a second religion. From hanging on and letting go. I’m from “obnoxiously functional.”

I am from road trips and hiking trips and “we’ll take as many breaks as you want but we’re not carrying you.” I’m from “TV coins” in the jar for every hour I’ve read.

I am from Winkie and Jesus, Sunday school and VBS; from faith as a lifestyle, not just a label. From Turner and WiNeMa and PCCofHIU. I’m from education as a value and an honor, not an obligation.

I’m from the incomparable Pacific Northwest and Southern California perfection; from Minestrone soup and home-made caramel corn. I’m from McDonald’s as a treat, not a routine.

I’m from a plastic cup flushed down the toilet, a moon drawn on the bathroom door and a knee injury in racquetball. I’m from tole-painting and hand-sewn dresses, from chocolate pudding as finger paint. I’m from Q-tips as a daily delight!

I am from scrapbooks, from nostalgia and movies. I am from expressive and unconditional love, and vocal pride and unhesitating forgiveness. I’m from a place that shapes my history and my future. How could I ask for more?