Serve Well Blog

5.10.16

Where We are From

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Intercultural Development, Post-Service Term Reflections

"During our Debriefing in February, we were given George Ella Lyon's poem "Where I'm From" and asked to rewrite it from our own individual perspectives. What are the places, the people, the experiences that form your path? The result was over 12 poems that reflected our distinct experiences along our service journey.

We realized that the "Where I'm From" poems could become even more powerful if combined as our group's collective journey. "Where We're From" is an attempt to share our individual stories and to recognize the influence of our time together as a group. The stanzas are kept intact, but rearranged with each other's poems to create a single narrative. The poem contains individual poems by Jerrell Davis '14, Taylor Tibbs '15, and Richard Murray '15. We are working on expanding it to include all or most of our Debriefing group's poems.

Ultimately, we hope to create a small, physical book of poetry and invite all Krista Colleagues to share any poetic reflections they have written during their service journey. The feature poem would be the "Where We're From" poem." -Richard Murray ‘15

Where We're From

We are from roots deeper than
the leagues of oceans crossed
by ships carrying Kings and Queens
as means of production.

We are from 5am wake up calls,
scrambled eggs in silk skirts,
payless'd, yet more professional
shoes for grown up girls in public
schools hall ways.

We are from from royalty, humbly borne into
a nation who hated us
and taught us to hate ourselves
But, we are from Love.

We are from hour long conversations
with the copier, with our principal,
with our piece of heaven in the
basement of the beast.

We are from the land of separateness, abandoned.
We are from the Philippines and South Africa,
Or rather somewhere in between.

Consummated in the eyes of the Creator
who made you too;
so We are from Sankofa,
as we reach back to move forward.

We are from downtown, hilltop,
eastside, northend, sixth ave,
skyway, beacon hill, tukwila t-shirts.

We are from Tiya at Tiyo
speaking to Ouma en Oupa,
from first generation to first generation
And now a second
of silence, space, and time.

Estamos Magdalena; unas personas de maíz y la Luna,
y las playas extraviadas de nuestros sueños.

We are from yesterday he was alive,
today we are joyful, tomorrow we
are opportunistic. And little caesars
Pizza.

No necesitamos leer todas las estrellas,
solo vemos a la Luz de los cielos y recordamos,

We hide a connect-the-dots map
of our hearts in our pocket, we pretend
not to do much during the day.

We are from gang signs and privilege;
where Darkness shines
and where we honor the elders,
who remind us
that we are all from the same place,
with different accents.

We are from was, now, and will be.
We are from the grandmother singing,
Planting rice is no fun,
work from dawn
‘til the end of sun.