"Where I'm From" by Caroline King

Adaptation of George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From"

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.

Caroline King, from Wytheville, VA, is a senior Teacher Education major with an English emphasis at Ferrum College (in 2022, when this poem was written in Dr. Lana Whited's creative writing class). She enjoys reading, writing, and photography. Caroline has served on the staff of Chrysalis and The Iron Blade college newspaper. She is looking forward to discussing a variety of texts with her future students. 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).

Where I'm From

By Caroline King

I am from chickens roaming freely through the yard,
and waking up in the mornings to a cow’s sweet moo.
I am from the wooded areas just outside of town limits.
I am from swimming in the deepest parts of the creek.
And cool summer nights lying under the stars,
the smell of fresh-cut grass.

I am from swing sets and toys strung through the yard.
I am from tough times, 
easy ones as well.
I am from working hard to be remembered.
I am from “Quit your bitchin’ and get over here and help me,”

Staying up late to make sure the cows calved safely.
I am from dad building me a custom car seat in the tractor,
both heavily chipped from years of labor.
I am from everyone having a dog as a companion, 
a guard over his family.
I am from my neck of the woods, 
A place where I call home.

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AppLit Fiction and Poems Index
Complete list of AppLit pages on Poetry
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