I am from pickle jars
from poetry and handkerchiefs.
I am from the peach tree that bore fruit only once
(and it was hard, unsatisfying
and only good for dropping)
I am from the cast-iron kettle
apple-butter makers
whose recipe is now a secret
like their silent, deadened songs.
I'm from wood shavings and sewing machines
from Billy P and Martha.
I'm from the Fall Festival Princess
and Miss Dictionary,
from hot chocolate & soldiers.
I'm from beside the rivers of Babylon
and more than half a soul
and knowing what comes next.
I'm from Paint Your Wagon and the Gateway,
gray rock and pipe tobacco.
From the scrapes on my cheek
that Pappy's scruff would leave
the dents in my stomach of granddaddy's
nightstick and radio.
Back in the woods was a house
where when I could get in
I could see the four worlds merging
of our generations
and watch the road leading down the mountain--
from the streams
where memories float like newspapers
for me to gather.