I am from blankets made out of long worn clothes,
from televisions, CCD classes and home-cooked meals.
I am from the suburbs, but every house has character.
From ice cream trucks and the neighborhood watch,
And the three oaks standing tall in the front yard,
growing as my sister grows, as I grow, as my brother grows.
I’m from the blessing of the baskets and midnight mass.
From Michele and David, Blanche and Raymond.
I’m from kisses on the mouth and constant teasing.
From Melissa’s shadow, from the middle of three.
I’m from “Don’t talk to strangers!” and “Don’t be so sensitive.”
and “Our Fathers” followed by “Hail Marys”.
From enveloping hugs and spanks on the butt.
I’m from Poland, not by blood but family.
From galumpkis, goulash, and the occasional pot roast.
I'm from the struggle of indentured servants trying to earn their freedom,
keeping their traditions alive through a hand-written recipe book, a cast-iron mold,
and a gilt-edged Bible.