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Where I’m From – Carlie Garner

With gratitude to George Ella Lyon

I am from train exhaust, 
from overpriced ice cream and jaywalking. 
I am from coal in the fireplace and under my feet.
(Black, glistening,
It tasted like dirt and dust.)
I am from whitetail deer, 
the deciduous oaks
whose long-gone limbs I remember 
as if they were my own.

I am from generational curses and everyone knowing everyone,
	from never-ending scarceness
I’m from the chain-smokers
     And the townies, 
from the lost aspirations and the broken dreams.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
      with repenting 
      and I can save myself.

I’m from historic sights,
buffalo chicken and hot chocolate.
From the windshield my grandfather lost
     to the blizzard
the ears my mother covered to keep her hearing. 
Under my loft bed was a scrapbook
Oozing old pictures
An array of lost faces
To float under my dreams.
I am from those moments –
Snapped before I bloomed –
Leaf-fall from the family tree
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