I am from…

I wrote a poem, something I hardly do these days. But first, a lot of preface to contextualize the writing. If you don’t care about any of this story, I’d still appreciate it if you took the time to scroll past it all and read through my poem.

If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class, chances are you’ve written a poem similar to this. Heck, even if you haven’t taken a writing class, you still might have experimented with this style of poetry. Look, my point is, this is a classic school assignment. I know I’ve written at least three of these. This time, however, I did not write it in a creative writing course. This time, while writing it as an assignment, I also wrote it because I wanted to. This time I wrote a real poem about where I come from.

One of my dreams in life is to become a teacher. This is where our story begins, in a high school course (well, technically college class as it was concurrent enrollment) about becoming a teacher. Education 1010. During this class, we had many guest speakers. One of these speakers was… Oh, I forget her name, but I remember she was teaching us about diversity in the classroom. She herself was African American, but also had many roots in many different cultures. She challenged us to write a poem talking about where we come from. She told us, “Everyone has culture.” Even if you think you don’t, you do. Because culture isn’t just about what countries your seventh great grandparents came from. Culture is about who you are as an individual, and the experiences that shape that individual. On a side note, I also got a free book called Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman which I recently took the time to read. It’s a good book written through a different perspective each chapter. It’s all about diversity and community and it’s pretty short so if it interests you, you should definitely read it.

And now, the feature presentation:


I am from…

By Nathan Wainwright


I am from…

Utah—West Bountiful to be precise.

I am from Jet, and Edward, and Faye, and Spike.

I am from Ethan, and Lauren, Katie, Hailey, and Nate.

I am from kind friendliness turned to cynical hate.

I am from reading and writing, and writing and reading.

I am from lazy things like movie watching and eating.

I am from video games—often playing a lot.

I am from spending my money on things I don’t want

I am from farm-work in summer, pumpkins in fall.

I am from mountain hiking, disliking it all.

I am from loving people—much too happy for me.

But they’re the best thing I come from—my family.