Where I'm From Poetry

After reading George Ella Lyon’s 1993 poem Where I’m From, FYE students were asked to use a Where I’m from template to write their own poems. You can view the original poem and activity instructions HERE.

Please check out our wonderful students’ poems below.

Where I’m From
I am from coffee cups, From Vicks and menthol.
I am from the overgrown backyard play set, Rusted, cold, seemingly calm yet filled with sharp edges, hurtful to the touch.
I am from purple and yellow orchids, seemingly alive yet completely artificial.
I’m from after church lunches and well-kept secrets.
I’m from Enrique and Atkinson, I’m from the “Carry on in prayer on every occasion” and “Go therefore and make disciples of them”.
From “God forgives all sins” and “Don’t tell your father”.           Rice and beans, black Cuban coffee,
From the sleepy afternoons spent with chessboards and coffee, being told stories of faith and survival from a land far away, by uncles and aunts whose trauma is hidden by smiles and scriptures.
Although I was taught to cover up sins, taught to hide lies and hate behind the guise of prayer and deliverance,
This once perfect flower, who no one ever thought would wilt,
Now outgrows its plastic shell, spreading its roots and blooming into the flower it wants to be, with its torn leaves and missing petals on full display, once marks of shame, now battle scars,
No longer afraid to hide their self and truly grow beyond its once cramped vase, into the real dirt and into true sunlight.

Where I’m From
I am from a wooden spoon
From the smell of oil and garlic simmering in the pan
I am from the yellow house with many trees
I am from roses
Light pink petals and thorns
I’m from going to New Jersey every summer
I’m from the save something to be desired and be grateful for what we have
From don’t run down the stairs
From Vegetable soup
From the time I won’t forget how proud my father was of me for preforming on stage
How important it is to remember how you were raised

Where I’m From
By Wendy Avila
I am from the ocean
From the Febreze and Hawaiian breeze
I am from the green vast land, next to the ocean blue, colorful, strong, chants of victory
I am from the mango and avocado trees, green leaves overflowing, branching life
I’m from “Loteria” and optimism
From Avila and Mendez
I’m from the strengths and overcomings
From struggles and over-bearings, guisado, off tree mangoes
From the cheating scandal of my grandfather
I am who they expected me to be and more.

Where I’m From
I am from motherland
From snuggles and peaches
I am from the green Rosey bushy trees as beautiful as the sky
I am from the red roses that have bloomed
I am from my soul and Latina decent
From Lesly and Paula’s decent
I’m from the blood created by my own and free
From courageous and full of light
Tamales and churros the only way to my heart
From the moment I lost grandma, my happiness went away.
Family always and forever.

Where I’m From
~Anonymous                                                                                                      I am from the bathtub
From vinegar and lemon
I am from the mortar inside the stone wall mural (grey, irreplaceable, and it tasted like play-doh)
I am from the balloon flowers,
A color so beautiful it will keep you locked into a gaze
I’m from hugging everyone aggressively and bad eyesight
From Patricia and Andres
I’m from the goofballs and know-it-all
From keep your chin up and keep moving forward
I’m from my dad’s side of the family,
From making Arepas for each visit
From the big presents underneath the tree and
From the family who scrambled like chickens to get their gifts
I am from those moments
A root that is ordinary to anyone else, but not for me
A special part of the tree

Where I’m From
I am from home cooked meals
From pizza and my mom’s baked ziti
I am from the quiet suburbs of Norwalk, CT
Fluffy, eye-catching, and tasted like heaven
I am from oak trees,
With the bright leaves
I’m from family dinners and loud talkers
From Thomas and Matthew
I’m from the give it 110% and the try herds
From never giving up and having fun
Spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken and rice
From the Yankee games
To the trophies stacked up in the house with all our accomplishments

Where I’m From
I am from apple trees
From burgers and cheese
I am from the ocean view,
Blue, Birds, Breeze.
I am from roses that are bright red and smell like heaven.
I’m from Christmas trees and pillow fights
From Maria and Vincent.
I’m from the faith and passion
From everything happens for a reason and life is life,
Cannoli and cookies
From the summer balloon fights,
Love, support, and joy is what keeps us together.

Where I’m From
I am from tens of photo albums
From coffee beans and cream
I am from the one-story home with two bedrooms and small living room and kitchen
I am from cacti plants all around the house
I’m from novenas and loud relatives
From Blanca and William
I’m from being kind to others and knowing what is best for you and others
From don’t be rude and do your homework, hot chocolate in the winter and smoothies in the summer
From my family moving to the U.S. before I was born and how strong and lucky, we are to have each other anytime we need

Where I’m From
I am from the slums of Fairfield county
From the pungent smell of ganga and alcohol
I am from the streets enclaved by old rundown brick buildings
(Windy, Busy, and the strong sense of being in the hood)
I am from the grassroots
Where wealth is scarce
I’m from good faith and productive
From Maradiaga’s and my mother
I’m from hard work and consistency
From energetic and determined
Rice and beans, and tortillas
From the counties and places where organized crime and trafficking is rampant and the norm,
These places do not change who I am, someone who’s self-reserved and partake in being a productive citizen.

Where I’m From
I am from dinner plate
From the many foods eaten and the dinners I’ve attended
I am from the trees in the backyard tall, sturdy, and full of life
I am from the large flower garden in the backyard parking lot,
With the huge variety of flowers varying in colors, shape, and size
I’m from family events and hard workers
From Alejandro Gaete and Andre Gaete
I’m from the ones who relax and try again and the ones who will always try their best
From thinking things thoroughly and always be the helper and not the one always asking for help Chicken Parmesan, Beef Empanadas
From the times where the family will come together for the large dinners
And the times where family will come together to have fun and help each other out.

Where I’m From
I am from guitar strings
From lavender and spices
I am from the vegetables planted in the front yard
soft, shiny, petrichor
I am from hibiscus,
Large and conspicuous
I’m from tamales during the holidays and caring
From Angelie and Jacob
I’m from the por necia and Dios te bendiga
From the have fun and eat your vegetables
pupusas , tortillas
From the dime my sister swallowed
My origins shaped me, but they do not label who I will be

Where I’m From
By Ayana
I am from couches
From febreze and fresh air
I am from the porch outside my room
Cozy, hot, smelling the delicious food
I am from, rosemary from my garden, tulips, long walks on the beach
Plants in almost every corner
I’m from Christmas parties and bad eye sight
From Cime and Angarita
I’m from the always eating and putting yourself first
From go clean your room, to never saying yes
Bacon mac and cheese and sizzling steak
From the huge birthday parties running all day
Our rocky relationships
To meeting my new-born sister, holding her tiny hands
Shoe boxes stuffed with pictures
Reminding us of beautiful memories
To cherish every moment with family

Where I’m From
By Nicolas Colo
I am from a warm bed,
from cinnamon rolls to cannelloni.
I am from the coast,
hot, windy, with salty smells.
I am from tulips,
people walking around the cove, some would stop and search for seashells.
I’m from Christmas and unity,
from Oscar to Romero.
I’m from the “Let freedom ring” and “Be responsible”,
breaded meat, grilled meat.
From “Surround yourself with good company” and “Do what makes you happy”,
from the marriage of my sister to my to be brother in law,
necklaces, rings, linked directly to moments of love and loss to be brought down the family tree for generations to come.

Where I’m From
By Jerry Atkins
I’m from the small town of Stamford CT. What they call mini–New York
I’ve lived there my whole life born and raised.
I am from an African American family that was raised in the church life.
I am From the busy downtown living of Stamford.
I am from where everyone knows everyone and when you say something, everyone finds out.
I am from family cookouts on the weekends and playing tag in the back with my cousins.
I am from history where my great grandfather is the first black fireman of Stamford.
I am from love and respect where treat people how you wish to be treated.
I am from a strong household where my mom did everything for me and made sure that my life was good.
I am from a family who are die hard sports fans where you had to play a sport.
I am from loving sports and wanting to be in the NFL
Then discovering I’m good with computers.
I am from football Sundays
And grilling when its nice out.

Where I’m From
I am from a chair
From Gatorade and lemonade
I am from the grass
Sharp, raw, moving quietly
I am from tress
Tall, thick, and climbable ancient giant
Recipes and curly hair
From Griselda and Humberto
I’m from an apple a day keep the doctor away
and better late than never
From honesty is the best policy
And actions speak louder than words
Grapes, bananas
From the moving of countries, moving the boulder off my arm,
And moving on to bigger and greater things
A dining table isn’t to share when eating
But a place to unplug and cherish ideas
That can’t stand the heat of society

Where I’m From
I am from food
From well done steak and fries
I am from the table, amazing, sharp, scent
I am from lavender, roses, livestock where I feel a home
I’m from cooking and excitement
From Recinos and Manolo
I’m from the safest place and trust
From my grandpa being tall and me being blessed,
Steak, seafood
From the time I was born almost losing my mother
love the ones that stick around you without you asking because at the end of the day those are the ones who really care for you
I am from afternoon sunlight
From candles and blueberries
I am from the trees, verdant, tall, rustled by the wind
I am from grass long thin green straws
I’m from waiting for everyone to be at the table to eat and dark brown eyes
From Johnny’s and Celia’s

Where I’m From
I’m from the kindness being its own motive and honesty being the best policy
From being told to go to sleep early to wake up early and if there’s anything missing at all there’s a chance it could be under the bed
Potatoes and rice
From the reuniting back with family, almost burning the house down on Christmas
These items all cooperate to who we are and what makes us unique in every way. Each family is different and makes it interesting to learn about them

Where I’m From
I am from cleaning rags and supplies.
From tree oil and Brazilian churrascos.
I am from the open yard in the middle of the empty woods.
Magnificent, mysterious, sounds of peace.
I am from dahlia’s, in vibrant colors,
With the smell of sweet sunny days.
I’m from burnt cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning
and dark curly hair.
From Danielle and Gina.
I am from the “tough battles will only lead you to great victories”
And “tem paz”.
From your sister is your best friend and family first,
From the parents leaving everything they had in their homeland to come to america,
For a better life.
No matter how far you travel from your home country, what you know is who you become.
You are the creator of your own ‘home’.
No matter where you go, you will always be able to find it.