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This is a response to the weekly challenge, Digging for Roots.  A lot of teachers have used this poem to get students to write, and when I saw the challenge I thought I’d write my own variation.  I’d love it if you imitated this wonderful poem and shared your version with me. As I write, I feel grateful for all the crew in the picture below, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  You guys have a wonderful day.

I Come From

By Joni Koehler

After the original poem I Come From by Robert Seatter


Thanksgiving(?) 1972.

I come from the end of a dirt lane,

walking home from school to the

yellow house with a tall porch,

cool in the summer and perfect

to fly from.

I come from handmade dresses,

blue and white gingham with

pink rickrack, too wide at the


I come from gospel sings, wooden pews,

sunlight through stained glass.

memorizing bible verses and the smell of grass.

I come from words, babbled, whispered,

chanted, changing, words.

I come from slender fingers clutching

a red apple, peeled in one long strip.

I come from love, the deep kind,

The kind that grew back into roots from

A great grand being you’ve never met.

The kind that grounds you against

life’s lightning.

I come from sadness, redemption,


From watching him comb his hair the

same way for thirty years.

I come from the

newness that washed through me

when I brought the new to life.

I come from her hands,

her eyes as she wakes me,

kisses me, faces me toward my life,

walking to school down the dusty lane.

Digging for Roots