Where I Come From
by Mary Jo Balistreri

I am made of ten thousand lakes
the cold of Superior
the peninsula of Park Point

iron ore ships
midnight-deep channels
and the Aerial Bridge rising skyward

I am made of Gramma’s lap
the wicker rocking chair
melodies of County Clare

of Latin choirs
a violin’s bow
a Chickering’s ivory keys

I am made from a tenor’s voice
and a dancer’s step
love songs tapping through time

I am made of a clean and perfect home
time that’s never late
dinner as a family

of deep blue piano performance
limits of orange fear
ebony polish gray self-worth.

I am made of travels in Turkey,
Nile feluccas
Normandy beaches

of small Midwest towns
big eastern cities
great lakes and the Gulf stream

I am made of a spark
from the dust of stars
a tree with deep roots
reaching ever skyward.


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