Surnames/tags: Poetry I_Come_From
The goal of this project is to gather the experiences of living people to be preserved for their posterity as they pass on.
Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Jennifer Gonnuscio.
- Share your history in a poem in this format (don't feel too tied to format; it is poetry after all:
1st stanza about a childhood "home" 2nd stanza about a father figure 3rd stanza about a mother figure 4th stanza about childhood foods 5th stanza about childhood traditions
- Connect it to your profile
- Invite relatives to write their own:
Here is a couple examples:
I COME FROM BY Jennifer Harrigan Gonnuscio (2008): A Memoir’s Echo of Nim, Null, & Nerd I come from Hassalo Street, A short drive from 90th, Along flight from Springfield, Kids for neighbors, cats for endearing, Trees for climbing, a garden for raiding, And a Nanny and a Papa to instill a conscience.
I come from a beacon, a castle, Stone Walls with safety within, Teaching honor, independence, forgiveness, Teaching silent, stalwart perseverance. Made a little crazy by Quilts and Parties, but fortified none-the-less. The comfort of Eeyore, The love of God.
I come from rocky shores, Shifting Sands of depression and pain, No stability to strengthen another, No courage to build a dream, Leaning on Compassion and Commitment, Responding in order to not respond: “I know you’ll make the right choice.”
I come from bread boards on the floor, Loaded with blocks of cheese and sausage, A cardboard gallon carton of milk – “3.8 Percent,” we called it; Food fights, fried hot dogs, and even better: Broiled hot dogs filled with cheese and pickles, wrapped in bacon; Lunch tickets, 10-cent candy bars, and Hamburger Helper, And a cheese factory that stirred whey with long rakes and sold nothing but – cheese.
“Family” was “Dad”(or “Dad & Shannon”). “Mom” was “Mom & David.” Two for the price of one: Two birthdays, two Christmases, two Easters… But one set of grandparents for camping, cocoa, and loving. Hiking, camping, beaches with family, Empire Strikes Back and Flash Gordon in place of Mom. And if luck fell my way, I was “Parent for the Night” when the Family had cash to blow.
From Stone Walls and Shifting Sands I am created, molded, solidified. From stone walls and shifting sands I strive to create new castles- With hope for change and regard for that which has passed.
I COME FROM by Doug Cruger (2012)
I come from the rough, calloused hands of ship builder and master carpenter, from a Montana whittler and a layer of railroad ties in the Inland Empire, from a hunter, a fisherman, and a dreamer of impractical dreams. I come from a man who smoked Camels and drank milk and still bit his fingernails, who shepherded his family through a Depression and World War II, and whose heart gave out before his soul was ready give it up. I come from the protective arms of mother hen, proper and always correct, who, though guided by faith and family, was assigned by destiny to raise her son in a world where the safety net had been pulled away. I come from a canner of fruits and vegetables, from a whistler of hymn tunes, from Helen Trent, Ma Perkins, Pepper Young’s Family and Our Gal Sunday, from a reader of stories to neighborhood children and of Reader’s Digest to herself.
I come from vanilla cupcakes smothered in warm chocolate sauce, from raspberries, Franco-American on toast and Swiss Steak covered in brown gravy, from chunks of Wonder Bread swimming in milk and sprinkled with sugar. I come from venison and rainbow trout, from blackberry pie and Devil’s Food cake, from hamburger patties and mashed potatoes, green Jell-o, and cottage cheese, from maple bars, and peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches.
I come from where Union Avenue meets North Marine Drive, just down the road from Faloma Grocery, and a half-mile from the bus stop into town, from over the rise to the Columbia River, and over the bridge to Jantzen Beach. I come from Over the Bank and Behind the Garage, across the street from the cucumber field; from marathon Monopoly and backyard bonfires in the summertime, from Kick the Can, and Trick-or-Treat, and the Spring Carnival at Columbia School.
I come from the tenacity of French Huguenots and New England Congregationalists, from pioneering Ohio and Indiana Methodists, Soul Freedom-loving Wisconsin Baptists, Spirit-filled Pentecostals, and parents who were Baptists “by God.” I come from a Spokane-facing, Bible-believing, birthday-celebrating, home movie-making, fireworks-displaying, Pinochle-playing, drive-in movie-going, Thanks-giving family, who went to the city park together every Sunday afternoon…just for the fun of it.