Where I'm From
I'm from the big leaf maple tree with the yellow slide and swing underneath,
From vegetable gardens and woodstoves,
Home cooking and families whose names are like legends in the Valley -- Zender, Strachila, Galbraith, Engholm.
I'm from 40 minute drives to "Town" to get groceries.
I'm from classical piano -- Mozart, Schubert --
From family outings to the city, to the theatre, to the aquarium,
From "Money can't buy you happiness, especially if you don't ever use it," and "Love is something if you give it away."
I'm from sit and stand in church.
Liturgies and Sunday School Songs,
Kyrie eleison and Vespers ‘86,
From Holden's Village Center ceiling and Railroad Creek footbridge.
I'm from the university.
From words like "juxtaposition" and "neocolonialism."
I'm from sestinas and short stories,
From "liminal spaces" and "intersectionality"
From walks around Spanaway Lake and late night runs to WinCo.
I'm from silent solidarity, staring at computer screens until our eyes blur and we have to dance around, singing in silly voices until we feel like humans again.
I'm from study away.
From papel picado, chicharrones, and tlayudas
From Día de los Muertos and drinking smoky, burning mezcal until I like it.
From being a güerra, güerra and a señorita.
I'm from misunderstandings and putting my foot in my mouth and talking around my meaning.
I'm from urban bike paths and taking the MAX.
From crisis lines and grupos de apoyo
From "1 in 3 women" and "You deserve to ALWAYS feel safe"
From trying to accompany, to create healing spaces
I'm from Big Sky and Big Horn Mountains
From pow wows and basketball tournaments
From "What kind of Indian are you?" and "Maaaaan, Teacher, you're mean!"
From trying to accompany, to create safe spaces
I'm from Ruined for Life
From tense grocery conversations and game nights
From dinner tables and cooking disasters
I'm from silent solidarity, trying to hold the woes of the world until our eyes blur and we have to dance around, singing in silly voices until we feel like humans again.
From strangers making a home together.