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Where I’m from…

March 8, 2009

I am from tamales
from Mexican Coke out of a bottle
and the custom-painted celestial blue Ford Galaxy

I am from the scent of dusty roads watered by a pipa truck
the box fan in the open window that blew across my canvas cot
lacquer-scented air from the carpenter shop next door

I am from the Sonoran desert heat
from jicamas and cucumbers sliced with machete
drenched in lemon juice…chili pepper

I am from milk on ice cream and tortilla eggs
from John and Doris…Millers and Ehsts

I am from books and tractors
pastors and teachers

From you can still get some more wear out of those and
it’s your turn to wash the dishes

I am from family devotions at the breakfast table
from long Sundays out in the campo
flannelgraph Sunday School lessons under the mango tree
missionary stories and laughter over food
visits to simple homes with dirt floors
earnest campesinos with work-creased faces, worn leather sandals and feet
mud ovens, handmade flour tortillas
simple faith, vibrant singing with guitars, heart-felt testimonies
and siphoning gas from our car
to help someone’s neighbor get to town

I’m from Swiss-Germans via Hubbard, the Bally farm, Los Mochis…
from hearty breakfasts and pot roasts with cooked carrots and potatoes

From the college Spanish professor who married one of his students
the mother who lost her mother at a young age
and the grandfather philosopher who kept a school clean in Nampa

I am from the black and white slides in the hand held viewer
the pictures on the wall
the driftwood chiseled into something on a lathe
from the quilts which cover body and soul

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