by

November 28, 2022

 

Here are some things about me

I am from eyeglasses, old cassette tapes and Febreeze.
I am from the red monkey bars that were once impossible to reach. 
I am from tall buildings that resemble stars when looking down from above.
I’m from the sweet, warm smell of hot cocoa in winter and coffee in spring
I’m from the loud ones and the artists
from Do as I say and not as I do
I'm from Port- au -Prince and Legume
On a shelf far away lies a book with stripes of many colors, 
it holds the memories most dear to me.
I am from those moments when the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I am from Brooklyn

I am from diapers, 

from pampers and huggies

I’m from sidewalks and swings

I am from the trees and cars,

whose cars smelled like gas

I’m from rice and cookies

From Anna and Sam

I am from leaders and the responsible ones

From finish it before I come home! and hurry up!

I’m from old baby clothes

I’m from chinatown, fresh meat and bubble tea

From the wedding ring my dad gave to my mom

On the shelf is a album of baby pictures from back in the days

I am from the sister of a younger boy


The experience of who I am

I am from my shirts in my drawer from the Dior Sauvage cologne I have on my desk.
I am from the grass on the soccer field.
I am from the loud police sirens during the night and the old Dominican dude outside my bakery to the smell of weed in my lobby.
I am from the smell of my mother’s creativity when she feels like baking a dessert.
I am from my mother and sister I am from “la rosca” from “vas a ver” and “MANNY’
I am from 1950 iron mechanical piggy bank
I am from nyc in the heights
I am from the wedding that my aunt and uncle had I am from “preciosos momentos”
I am from the funny moments with my family and my family tree.


This is me

I am from ajax, from clorox and febreze
I am from riverside park, cold and windy
i am from the sounds of music that you can hear from a mile away 
i am from the sweet aroma of salmon and tacos
from lucia and pablo
i am from the meetups and parties 
from hurry up! and come here! 
I am from the pictures in the photo album 
I am from the cities and towns of mexico
from inside drawers filled with memories of my past  
I  am from a mere branch of the family tree

I am from

I am from Morning to Night the city that never sleeps
I am from the MTA 6 line 
I am from playing tag at parties 
I am from volunteering and making jokes
I am from the Big CD binger
I am from playing Mario Kart with my siblings
I am from the walks in Central Park
I am from the loud cars passing by on the FDR Drive 
I am from the big photo book full of baby photos 
I am from concha’s and hot chocolate on the cold nights


Origin of Home

I am from candles that make every corner of the apartment smell like cinnamon and photos of family members I haven’t met and ones who I know dearly.
From incense that makes the room smell good to candies, my aunts bring from the store.
I am from the little park that sat near the building where I saw all my classmates play.
From the projects that stood before my grandparents, buildings where generations were raised.
I am from home-cooked meals and fast food as a quick grab when we’re lazy.
I am from rice and beans, pastelitos, and my grandma’s cooking.
I am from chaos, from my family whose loud voices made the wall rumble but voices so talented you wish you could sing like that.
From dreamers who have big goals and aspirations.
From “who you telling!” and “missy!”
I am from crystals and crosses that my mom and grandma love so dearly.
From Puerto Rico and the city that never sleeps, New york.
From runaway stories and how my family got into crazy adventures.
I am from a special book my mom got me and photos which hold ideas of people I knew.
From the times that made us closer and times, we’ve felt more like us.


Where I’m from

I’m from space heaters and tiny teddy bears, and giant ones, too.
I’m from a down-South spacious backyard with a vegetable garden, from skating down the church’s driveway,  naps in the school bus,  and from collecting shoeboxes full of live snail families in the dirt outside the 5 train.
I’m from the Bronx
from the 2 and the 5, and
the taxi men standing at the corner.
I’m from my Mom, my Grandma, and my siblings.
I’m from the loud ones
I’m from Go to bed! and If you don’t get this room cleaned I’m going to take your phone.
I’m from Christianity, God,  and this Scripture on top of my dresser: 
Be still and know that I am with you. Psalm 46:10.
I’m from the city and the country, from New York and Greensboro.
I’m from Auntie graduating from college with her associate’s degree in criminal justice.
I’m from old photos backed up for memories.


Where I’m from

I am from Land O Lakes butter.
I am from a small playground with backyard sprinklers.
I’m from rice and hotdogs and salad 
from Ervina, Mervan, and Amer 
I’m from the clean freaks and slouchers.
from family jokes. 
I’m from “slusaj me idi uradi”
Hung up in my room are my Islam prayer beads.


My story

 I am from the locket my mother gave me.
From mirrors and white tulips and a guitar.
I am from the lobby downstairs, screaming and laughing with the other kids
I am from sirens on the walk to the corner store to hang out with the cat. 
I am from loud music and sancocho, tostones, mangu, and rice and beans.
I am from Gloria and Luis.
I am from party people and gossipers,
from Luisa, ven aquí!
y ¿Cómo te fue con tu clase? y ¡ Cállate! 
I am from holiday praying and thanking God.
From the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, 
and getting stuck in a winter snowstorm. 
A shoebox of polaroids and baby pictures under my bed, and photos of grandfather and grandmother on top of the staircase wall. That’s where I’m from.


I’m Not Where I Am From

I am from music and laughter
Where I am from we get discriminated and killed
where I am from we work and don’t get credit
Where I am from I’m expected to stay home and clean
I am from a family that believes in me 
But where I am from I’m taught to not believe
Where I am from I do not have power
Where I am from I’m too young to know
I am from strong-willed people.
Where I am from I do not have a voice
Where I am from I witness death
Where I am from we don’t belong
but I am not from where I am.


where I’m from…

I’m from dove ice cream, from Nong shim ramen
I am from snow in the backyard and the swing set in the playground
I am from the key food supermarket and Alexander Hamilton’s house that was made into a museum
I am from beef noodle soup and jasmine rice
from Min and Jenny
I am from artists and loudmouths
from how many times do I need to tell you? and 我生气了(I’m getting mad)
I’m from the Bible.
I’m from Fujian and Harlem
from my parent’s dog that got run over by a car.
a collection of old pictures of my family kept in my ikea closet
I am from those moments as I entered the world, welcomed by beautiful blooming flowers of the family tree.


A Journey Through

I am from alarm clocks blaring, chargers hanging and water spraying.
I am from the garden and both sides of the park, (Morning and Central.)
I am from Birds chirping, cars speeding and construction sweeping. 
I am from tip-of-the-morning pancakes and spices spraying over mangu and cheese.
I am from Noemi and Robert and my brother Dylan
I am from the curious ones, the pranksters and the gossips. 
I am from the get-up and walk the dogs, so we can eat dinner
I am from the pictures hanging,  candles flaming, and bible readings. 
I am from Harlem, New York, and descend off the islands. 
I am from being the second born. The middle child.
I am from pictures, photo albums, and storytelling hidden under my closet 
I am the next generation of the expanded horse family.


I Am From Brooklyn and Haiti

I am from two-sided sinks, from Roku Tv’s and domestic eventual, endless sickening, I am from the dirty playground with shattered glass on the ground I am from gunshots ringing out late at night with  the sounds of the police sirens close behind I’m from oxtail stews with plantain  from the spicy smell of Jamaican curry  I’m from Antionette from a fatherless life  I’m from the know-it-alls and sensitives ones from go do them fu**ing dishes right now, fu** is wrong with you to Lexi if I gotta tell u one more damn time...  I’m from mother sageing the house every month I’m from Brooklyn and Haiti with its greasy food and sweet juicy smelling mangoes from a sister that grow up without a father and a fatherless mom  In a small brown wooden box is where I keep all the birthday cards and memories from lost faceless people I am from all those blurry time-consuming moments I’m just a part of that one-in-a-million family  trees


Where I’m From

I am from TI-30XS Multiview Calculator, from Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils, and Tv-Remote
I am from the backyard, basketball courts, and playgrounds.
I am from the 2&5 train station, where I went every day to get to school.
I am from Rice and Noodles,
from my Mom and Dad
I’m from the clean freaks and the sensitives.
I’m from before I beat you
I’m from Christianity, Crosses, and the Bible.
I’m from Kaohsiung, a city in Taiwan.
I’m from Photo Albums and Pictures.
From these experiences I know come from different cultures and that my family is diverse.


Where I’m from

I’m from Oakland.
Where lil’ gamers claim stuff they ain’t about
Where they wanna run games on lanes
But in reality, they ain’t nothin’.
Flexing they mommas rent money on the gram.

I’m from the town
Where everyone says that they’re self-made
And all players wanna do is play

Where I’m from, everyone’s carrying a weapon
Either a gun or a blade
And the people saying there gonna focus on grades
Just for them to choke again the next year

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/guides/poems-and-stories/writing-like-george-ella-lyon/