I am from endless playing in the garden, from jam-on-toast and real coal fires.
I am from a cluttered house, good cooking, walking on eggshells and staying up reading until the light disappeared and my eyes got sore.
I am from nutmeg, puddings on Sunday and climbing into the apple tree with a book to read, reaching out to eat the fruit which was growing just moments ago.
I am from late night ‘mad’ trips out in the car and anger borne out on others; from wavering uncertainty, isolation, and the travesty-idol of marriage; from David and Jackie and Lenny Blue-eyes
I am from denial, stoicism, and changing goalposts.
From your face getting stuck if the wind changed, having to clear your plate and children’s opinions not counting.
I am from on-the-surface Christianity, where things were not as they appeared, but left me with a faith I can’t quit no matter how I try.
I’m from England, through and through; from custard and gravy.
From a mother whose hugs had a thumb which never stopped smoothing, the lack of understanding which kept us all trapped, and the rule-breaker Grandfather who told stories of ‘evacuated in the war’ and ‘being a London fireman’.
I am from baby photos on the wall, a smoky glass bird on the mantelpiece, and clocks which all chime at different times; from chalk drawings on the ground, celebration buffet lunches and stories around the Scrabble board. I am from being sung almost to sleep, and in the quiet after, listening to the ticking all through the house the murmur of voices downstairs.
This is based on George Ella Lyons’ poem ‘Where I’m from‘, and uses a template format. I’ve seen this format used a few times, and each struck me as so beautiful I wanted to try for myself. So I did.