RIffing off of – or Ripping off? – George Ella Lyons

by gillis

George Ella Lyons wrote a lovely poem entitled “Where I’m From” (here’s a link to her poem

http://georgeellalyon.com/where.html)  and I asked my students to create their own versions of this poem. This is my version:

From Hail Mary and Stayin’ Alive

I am from the way back seat in

the old brown station wagon.

I am from seven sisters,

seven pairs of  eyeglasses,

seven weddings,


only one bathroom.

I am from train rides into the city

to buy school clothes and Christmas gifts

From FenwayPark and the BPL

from stay outside until you are called

and wash up before dinner

from mystery meat cooked too long

by an exhausted mother

and don’t talk back

from an angry father.

From you’re in for recess.

I am from telephone cords and 8 track tapes

Happy Days and Mary Tyler Moore

kickball, roller skates, and obstacle courses.

I’m from fried clams at Woodmans,

and salt water taffy on the Cape

from Hail Mary and Stayin’ Alive

from the Dragon Corner Store

Bit O Honeys,CharlestonChews, and Zots.

I’m from accidents happy and otherwise

from fear and courage intertwined

and years that stretch and shrink

in the blink of an eye.