I am from bell bottomed jeans and Neru jackets, from Kool Aid if you finish your dinner, and let’s get wet in the fire hydrant to beat the summer heat.
I am from the house on the corner with the large porch and pretty girls, whose brothers thought they were lovers and rhythm and blues blasted non-stop from the floor model stereo.
I am from philodendrons hanging in the living room windows, poinsettias at Christmas time, and the giant, old oak tree that housed colorful caterpillars and tore up the sidewalk in front of the house.
I am from large family gatherings on holidays where the same old stories are told again and again, from Lessie and Wilbert, and the Taylors and Toneys.
I am from quick, explosive tempers who are also quick to forgive and blood is thicker than water.
From “..you never know until you try” and “..coffee will make you black and dumb.”
I am from catechism taught at Catholic School, to various New Age manifesting your own destiny schools of thought to finally finding the Way, the Truth and the Light. Jesus Christ.
I’m from Philadelphia by way of South Carolina because good jobs can be found “up north”. From fish on Friday and baked macaroni and cheese.
From my grandfather, the child of a black woman who worked in a kitchen and a white man who owned the plantation, who could pass for white, and my father who took a bullet, protecting his country in Korea.
I am from photo albums with broken spines and missing pages, a stack of obituaries in a wooden box fading almost as fast as the memories we try so hard to hold on to. I am from always short on cash and always, always long on love.