A Tale of Two Places

by Carl Childers

Chrysalis Literary and Arts Magazine, Spring 2020
Ferrum College
Abigail McGovern, Editor

Carl Childers is from Baltimore, MD and Dinwiddie, VA. He graduated from Ferrum College in 2020 with a major in Applied Criminology. He was a member of MU Sigma Chi (MEX) and he and his wife have two children. His poem is reprinted here with permission after appearing in Chrysalis Literary and Arts Magazine.

This poem contains echoes of George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From." See more on this poetic tradition and other student "Where I'm From" poems at this link.

I went from blacktop pavement to unmarked roads.
From street lights to dark nights and crickets chirping
I went from a fenced-in back yard to twenty open acres of land
I went from riding my bike around town finding great spots, dreaming I was in 
the X-games, to hiking through the woods looking for a place to build a blind.
I went from walking to friends’ houses to everything being a 20-minute drive
From being able to yell down the street to my friends, to having to call and see
what they were doing.
I went from DMX and 50 Cent, to Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt
From stop drop shut ’em down open up shop, to a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.
I went from fast talkers and sophisticated words, to long drawn-out vowels.
From Hey hun! To Hey y’all!
I went from head down, don’t talk to ’em if you don’t ’em,
To we don’t know any strangers round here
I went from big city days to slow country nights, smelling oriental foods and
hearing Spanish culture throughout town,
To smelling rain and feeling the breeze pick up before it pours down. 
It’s hard to say where I belong,
It’s hard to show you where I’m from
I come from two polar opposites
And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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