“Where I’m From” by Isabella Ponce de Leon

I am from bonfires

From vicks and mint tea

I am from late nights catching fireflies

I’m from hot sticky summers in Puerto Rico

From giant palm trees

And my private stash of star fruit


I am from warm white sand stuck between your toes

A collection of seashells

I am from the late comers and church-goers,

From don’t dilly dally and hold your horses

I’m from early Sunday mornings

Of multiple hail marys and our fathers


I am from Kimberly and Agustin’s branch.

Rice and beans and tostones

From a ghost who used to haunt my grandfather

I’m from midnight snacks of hot chocolate with my Abuela

I’m from family dinners every night

To the leg my brother broke on a dare

Down in the dark scary basement is a trunk

filled to the rim with photos,

Of people and places not to be forgotten

To remember years from now


I am from these memories,

Like the deepest roots in a tree,

They will always keep me standing strong.

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