Today’s guest poem was written by Ethelene Dyer Jones
Where I’m From written by Ethelene Dyer Jones.
I am from cleanly-laundered
clothes blowing on the line, Octagon soap, and lye soap, stronger, for well-worn work clothes, double-scrubbed
and drying in the sun.
I am from Choestoe,
between mountains named the Blood and the Bald; from a house with a
front porch where summer visitors loll and swing; and from sugar pears
gathered for afternoon snack.
I am from hydrangea
bushes in full bloom, chinquapin roses
spotted pink and fuchsia and a garden growing
rhubarb, turnip greens, sweep peas and spring onions.
I am from going to
visit Grandma Sarah and hearing her wisdom, going to Grandpa Bud’s
house where lazy Susan table rolled our food around, from seeing the names
of Dyer, Souther, Collins Hunter engraved in mind and on tombstones at
the New Liberty and Choestoe cemeteries.
I am from saving
pennies and making-do, from hand-me downs and mended shoes, from hard work and
planting by the signs, from overcoming
ravages of the Great Depression and hoping times will get better.
I am from “remember,
when you go out into the world, where you’re from, for you have a name
and a place to uphold, a reputation to honor
and never dishonor, an ingrained goal to ‘be somebody!”.
I am from protracted
meeting beginning the second Sunday in July after “laying-by,” from baptizings of
converts in the cold waters of Nottely River at Morris Ford, from precept and
example, from learned Bible verses, from neighbors helping each other.
I’m from country lanes
and corn fields in the breeze, from hardy pioneer
families that left their mark in mountain settlements, from cornbread
fritters slathered in churned butter and sorghum syrup.
I am from the 1874
‘Apparatus for Navigating the Air’ invented by Micajah Clark Dyer, and from Dr. M. D.
Collins gone out from Choestoe to make a difference in Georgia’s education, from my own long line
of farmers, teachers and “make-do-with-what-you have” or ”better it” people.
I am from stalwart
stock whose word was their bond and a handshake meant
“I’ll do anything I can for you” to “Don’t fence me
in!” “I want to be free!”
I’m from all of these,
and more, for I am not yet through Growing, Becoming,
Like them, I want to
reach out and up, and forward– to make a difference.
-Ethelene Dyer Jones (Following suggested “Where I’m From”
Template by George Ella Lyon).
I hope you enjoyed Ethelene’s poem as much as I did! I especially liked the ending lines I’m from all of these, and more, for I am not yet through Growing, Becoming, Being.
I’m constantly busy with the present, and I often think of the past, but I sometimes forget the excitement and hope of the future.