My version of the George Ella Lyon poem of the same title:
I am from black-and-white television.
From Swanson’s and Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola.
I am from the ranch dressing of homes, with a back yard littered by dog poop, where I could snatch my own thoughts out of warm air.
I am from the cocoa bean, bitter but sweet and addictive once refined.
I am from “Star Trek” during dinner and walking myself to school.
From Boris and Natasha (their role-playing names)
I am from soft musical strains of Don Ho and displays of patriotic fashion.
From prepare to fight in World War III against the Soviet Union and straight A’s or else, young man
I am from Holy Mother Church and her additional seven holy days of obligation.
I am from the golden land of opportunity and perfect weather, chipped beef on toast, and sugar added to Frosted Flakes.
From a mother who left the coal region with a bit of anthracite in her knee and a father who tried to do better than his father.
I am from a yellowed photo lacking focus, singing Hawaiian songs to my dying father.