Diane (2014 Poem In Your Pocket)

Where I’m From

by Diane

I am from rotary phones,
Best Foods and Aloha Shoyu.

I am from the hardwood floor.

I am from the gardenia bushes,
the pink and yellow plumeria.

I am from kanekapila
and loud laughter.

From Montgamory,
and Haʻo
and Leisner.

I am from warm hugs
and loving kisses.
From “you too friendly”
and “blood comes first.”

I am from catechism.
I’m from Hawaiian/German/Chinese
and beef stew and raw fish.

From Grandma’s music, the ukulele,
and the sound of her voice.
I am from a wooden house,
bunk beds, and crowded tables.

This poem was published in the Hawaiʻi Review Editor’s Blog as part of an e-chapbook entitled WHEA YOU FROM…WHEA YOU GOING, which was produced by the residents of TJ Mahoney & Associates, a community reentry program in Honolulu.
Diane is from a family of eight. “Where I’m From” is the first poem she has ever written. She wrote it when she took a creative writing class at Ka Hale Hōala Hou No Nā Wahine, a residential transitional facility for women making the successful transition from prison back to our communities. She also learned how to be comfortable speaking in front of people through the class. Her dream is to be happy.

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