"I Am" by Jasmine White

Inspired by George Ella Lyon

Chrysalis Literary and Arts Magazine
Ferrum College, Spring 2022
Editor, Abigail McGovern

You can read George Ella Lyon's poem "Where I'm From" on her web site, and listen to her read it. She was inspired by another great Appalachian writer, Jo Carson, and the people in her book of poems Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet (Poem 22 includes the lines "But honey, where are you from?" and "You're not from here are you?," and lines that begin "I am from....") Lyon's web site provides ideas for using this poem to inspire your own writing, and links to poems and videos by students in different places and many Kentuckians.

Jasmine White, from Buchanan, VA, is a junior majoring in Liberal Arts, with emphases in English, Elementary Education, and History at Ferrum College (in 2022, when she wrote this poem in Dr. Lana Whited's creative writing class and served on the Chrysalis staff). She plans a career in education. Her poem is reprinted here with permission after appearing in the Spring 2022 issue of Chrysalis Literary and Arts Magazine.

See others in the Fiction and Poems index of this web site, including the page "Where I'm From" Poems by Ferrum College Students. Some poem excerpts from Ferrum's Appalachian cluster students and Dr. Rathin Basu's Business Communications class were presented at the Appalachian College Association Summit in October 2009 (pdf copy of one PowerPoint slide at this link).

I Am

By Jasmine White

I am from a womb 
that was made for two
I am from a small town that many people 
in a big city never heard about 
I am from my sister doing all the talking 
but I’m always silent
I am from never knowing enough 
but sometimes knowing too much
I am from being different but 
wanting to be the same 
I am from where my skin color wasn’t accepted 
always trying to be enough 
I am from shattered glass and broken people 
only know tragedy and pain 
I am from siblings taken too soon 
babies who now call heaven home 
I am from a place where kindness is rare
a place where love is rare
I am from a loving creator that made me in his image
but I am not made to be perfect

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AppLit Fiction and Poems Index
Complete list of AppLit pages on Poetry
Bibliography of Books by George Ella Lyon
Index of Student Writing and Illustration in AppLit Pages


Contact Tina L. Hanlon with questions or comments on this page.