Where I Was From When I Was Seven: Bearing Down Upon The Buoy

I was from a plastic rocking horse with vicious lips and peeling hooves strung up on springs, Hershey's chocolate topping in yellow tins, and baby dolls with nylon hair matted into tough clumps.

I was from the wooden shed tucked beneath a second story deck, its air heavy and cloying, filming my skin over with its sticky humidity and swaying webwork.

I was from the aggression of bright tulips, the planted sweet peas, the crunch of dry spring grass that battered my ears as I rolled down hills.

I was from family dinners and obstinance, from Herta and Cornelia and difficult aunts.

I was from nostalgia and denial.

I was from acceptance withheld and acceptance denied.

I was from the stolid watchfulness of Mennonites and their sudden bursts of laughter out of a secretive mother tongue.

I was from Alberta and the Dnieper, round watermelons with yellow flesh and stewed plums buried beneath thick dough and sweet, heavy cream.

I was from the broken bone of the brother I forgot, the lawn that caught his fall, and the grandmother who believed.

I was from cupboarded photo albums, the worn edges of a rose-handled serving spoon, and childhood drawings filed in the back of a metal cabinet.

I was from these depths of covert love, an impulse at once held close and pushed into corners, a tug-of-war balance struck between a conservative safety and a violent adherence, the weight of salvation bearing down upon the buoy.


George Ella Lyons' poem called "Where I'm From" inspired Fred First Floyd's form, which I discovered via Sweetney.

If you write your own version of the form, come back and link to it here. I'd love to see what it inspires.