I am from five suburban acres and I'll give you something to cry about. I am from waiting.
I am from the Raggedy Andy lamp and the blue-flowered wallpaper and twin beds. I am from the radio under my covers and Jean Shepherd stories on WOR. I am from airplanes and passports and the country club swim team.
I am from the baby of the family and the biggest children's bedroom. I am from sitting on the roof, from nighttime train whistles and crickets and frogs. I am from the peach trees, a stream that is all my own, the big open field, the wooden swing, the hammock. I am from flashlight tag and kick the can.
I am from the block party that happened only once. I am from the renovated basement no one would play in. I am from birthday party relay races and Shirley Temple movies on snow days. I am from the Partridge Family, homegrown carnivals, lemonade stands and roller skates. I am from my brother's Lincoln Logs, Hogan's Heroes and model airplanes.
I am from overwhelmed. I am from angry and unpredictable voices downstairs. I am from piles of laundry and a mother crying. I am from thyroid cancer, lost siblings, au pairs, varicose veins, confusion, a forgotten brother, a sad sister, a troubled sister, and a spaniel who wasn't allowed outside the kitchen. I am from the sister who tidied my room, made my bed and shoplifted. I am from her stolen wallets, her blue jeans hidden in a backpack, her bloodied hand and a broken window. I am from my father's fatigue and disappointment.
I am from feeding the dog my vegetables under the table. I am from standing and facing the corner, saying an Act of Contrition during dinner. I am from being "hardly sorry" for having offended Him. I am from standing in the Confession line every Saturday. I am from sitting on the basement steps.
I am from staying in my room and out of trouble. I am from the weeping willow.