Graduate English Literature and Language Collective Poem

A group of people place their hands together, all palms facing outward, as another hand with a paintbrush paints a red heart shape over their hovering hands.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Grad English Literature and Language Information Session! At this Zoom gathering, we had participants from Texas, Honduras, and Turkey, who together produced a collective poem generated from the prompt: “I am from …”, inspired from Mary Pipher’s poem of the same name in her book Writing to Change the World.

Thank you, Sima, Iris, Bill, Leigh Ann, Forest, Lane, and Carrie for your generosity in sharing a bit about yourselves in these lines. In this time of pandemic, it is a grace and good to be able to create community through creative hospitality.

I Am From …

…women who believe cutting their hair is not feminine;

who fight for their freedom every day from a broken home;

who come to terms with my pink hair –

because it makes me happy. 

… pecan-bottomed bend in the Colorado River;

from cat fish and grasshoppers

who were constant  companions.

I Am From …

… the in-Between,

from the border I can’t cross,

from the palm of the hand, the fingers,

from true biz, kiss fist, train go—sorry. 

from languages out of reach,

from languages learned through toil,

from languages learned through love. 

Languages of the tongue, lip, eyes and hands.

… the land of corn, beans and coffee,

where it rains fish and

you can swim near the coral reefs,

from people who believe in legacy,

and providing a better future for their kin.

I Am From …

… a dream where women are free and strong for their own sake.

… horse thieves and train robbers, Lutheran ministers,

and Russian Jews, glass blowers and bakers

I Am From …

…  stories told with a glance, daydreams in passenger seats

and verb conjugations of languages I’ve forgotten. 

… my mother

who is the smartest person I know,

from her brown eyes and light skin,

from cracks in the ground because it hasn’t rained in months,

and cruising around town  because there’s nothing else to  do.

We are from

            this shared moment of hope

Published by Carrie Villarreal

just a girl and her poetry trying to find meaning in the infinite arrangements of 26 letters

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