From the age of 3-11, my family lived in Ft. Myers, FL until we moved back to Ohio. I hadn't been back to Florida until the last few years when my own family began vacationing in Orlando. I am always amazed at how much comes back to me each time we're here. So tonight I wrote one of my favorite kind of poems, inspired by George Ella Lyon, with that childhood Florida lens in mind.
Where I'm From...
I am from chlorine and swimming pools.
From sunsets on the beach and coquina shells,
shades of orange, yellow and purple
color my memory.
I am from screened-in porches, a lanai, if you please.
From Deep Dark Daring Woods and forts in the palmetto leaves.
I am from wild fires and shuttle launches,
the San Carlos Gators.
I am from alligator safety in school
and manatee awareness pep rallies.
From summers spent inside in air conditioning
and winters spent at the beach.
I am from french braids and rented VCRs,
all in a house on stilts.
I am from long driveways where
walking catfish and garter snakes made an appearance.
I am from golf courses
where Emily would collect stray balls,
and alligators would invade the lakes.
I am from tree houses,
and club houses,
and hideouts in the woods.
I am from these moments,
ones that feel like another life.
Until I'm back,
and see the flowers and the shrubs,
hear the music of the water,
feel the warmth of the sun,
and know I'm home.