I am from...
By Zechariah James Towner
I am from America.
Land of the immigrants
where traditions come to die.
I cannot speak the tongues of my fathers
So I no longer know this that they once knew
But from this death all things are born a new
Or so they say
So from the fifth generation remains of an Irish, Scottish, English family
There is me.
I am from southern California where the sun burns my pale skin but the ocean is cool and salty.
From a kitchen my father learned through poverty and his time in India
Onions, rice, beans, and dal all stew in my pot.
From a bedtime full of fanciful stories that kept me awake and wondering
when they were meant to calm me down.
From a family where family meant a lot
Even if we lived so far
What’s a ten hour drive to see grandma?
I am from religion
And though I did not choose it its teachings will forever weigh upon my mind.
You are not your past but it is the foundation that will shape you… or so my mother used to say…
I am from a generation told we were all special
All impossibly perfect.
From a mother who thought this too.
She game me my name
Believing it gave me purpose.
Who’s to say she was wrong?
For I am from a home where words have power
My father is a professor after all
Where you watch what you say because sticks and stones may break your bones but words can do far worse.
I know to be true.
I am from the places behind me
The friends that are gone
And the things I survived
Many of them just barely.
I am form here and there and all over the place
But certainly not from everywhere.
I am collecting my past as I roll along
Piecing my cloth together
Always heading some direction
But to where?
I do not know.