(Where I Am From)

I am from bus routes, cook outs, and fireworks in the backyard on Juneteenth.

I am from backyard blueberry trees and Doberman pinschers barking and chasing.

I am from summer red clay dust roads and slippery in winter brick streets.

I am from evergreen roots that I don’t have to dig up to remember.


I am from fresh-caught and served oysters, crawfish by the pound,

that I never enjoyed, sliming slurping seafood.

Red Stick gumbo made with buckeye rue, food that sticks to your ribs!

I am from the holy trinity: sliced celery, green peppers, and red onions

in everything including the scent left on my hands.

Homemade burgers, with Colby-jack cheese, made like BLT’s on sesame seed bread.


I am from catching lighting bugs to forget about my mosquito bites.

Aunt Nita yelling, “Close that screen door!”

Grandma saying, “Praise the Lord,” spoken in joy and in pain.

I am from my boys shouting, “Ma, Momma, Mommy, Mom!” 


I am from first cousins who were my first friends.

I am from fire hydrant rain showers, air-conditioned car rides, and fighting

over who will sit in the front seat!

I am from double-dutching in the middle of the street, playing hop

scotch to made up hand beats, mud pies, penny candy, and cold drinks.

I am from dancing until worries fade into rhythm, and woes becomes rhyme.

©️Sierra Leone