Origin Story

I come from a teenage mother
	a blue-collar father
	a small mining town where they don’t know 

I come from parents who split up
	on the wrong side of the tracks
	in a dirty home in the trailer park
and I smelled like cigarettes.

I come from love and contradiction
	shame and abandonment
	the black garbage bag dumped
at the foster home.

I come from refugees of war-torn Palatine in 1709
	harsh, cold winters, Mormons, Scots,
	and New York colonists
who stop my self-pity.

I come from high school
	community college
	university with a bachelor’s degree
to a corporate job away, far away.

I come from my mistakes and failures
	my choices and my actions
	natural consequences and free will
and learned to take up space.

I’ve come back to put down roots
	to raise children
	to build a life,
to stay and live, 
to stay alive.

This version performed live via zoom at the Oxygen Arts Centre Author Reading Series, 26Jan2022, 7pm. (I was one of two student readers, followed by two published authors).

Youtube recording:

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