mcelroy children

I’m From Poetry Chains & Writing Prompts

Inspired by my new 30Voices friend, who’s got a great blog of her own, I learned about the “Where I’m From” writing prompt, as shown at Fragments From Floyd. If you follow that link, you’ll learn that the whole thing started with George Ella Lyon, an Appalachian author and poet with a long list of children’s books to her credit, who wrote the original “Where I’m From” poem. Who knew?

I couldn’t resist trying it out. I’ve added the formula at the end of this post (hint, hint) so you’ll give it a go as well. Yes, you!

Here’s Where Ruth’s From

I am from pancake syrup, from Baby Alive and evenings watching “The Waltons”.

I am from the house in the suburbs, warm, palatial the first time I stepped inside.

I am from the dandelions, the birch trees, the bushes with bag worms.

I am from popcorn on Sunday nights and crying during sports movies, from Richard and Molly and Ken.

I am from the joy of winning games, the love of books and the habit of making friends with waitresses.

From Pretty is as Pretty does and I love you even when I’m mad at you.

I am from productions of “Celebrate Life”, and “The Truth Shall Set You Free” sung behind the locks of the county prison.

I’m from a U.S. military base on a Philippine island and several towns in Michigan, chocolate peanut butter fudge and ham loaf.

From the coin Robert Vernon returned to the shopkeeper, the football injury that prevented a scholarship and the memories of a well-played trombone.

I am from the hatbox on the top shelf, the wicker suitcase under the desk and the front bedroom in the little house under the tall pines in Maryland.

Here’s the formula:

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail).

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). (Further description.)

I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail), and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines/words/phrases indicating their worth).

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