I am from Ozarks, from Quaker Oats and hard work.
I am from the rough-and-tumble;
ill-fitting hand-me-down boots
unbuckled and dripping on the lino.
I am from the cicada's nighttime buzzing;
flowering mimosa and stifling humidity.
I am from singing grace and debating opinion,
from Frank and Eva and too many lives cut short.
I'm from the Show Me State, from singing and laughter,
warm cinnamon rolls and juicy watermelon.
From 8 brides for 7 brothers, the gifted grandpa,
and the dad who made an RV from a hearse.
I am from boxes of Kodak slides,
record albums piled in dusty corners,
the unpublished poem book, the praying mamma
and sticky caramel memories not yet unwrapped.