Where I’m From
By Shiloh Sophia
I am from cinnamon toast and honey milk,
and from warm beds with more than enough pillows.
I am from enough time for me with enough time for you.
I’m from the land of women.
I am from the heart of my mother’s love and breastfeeding.
I’m from the colored fabric swatches of my mother’s mother
from the incense, icons and candles of my father’s mother
I’m from my father’s unlived stories of true love.
I am from the good witches on the wrong side of the tracks,
from tarot cards, tai chi, spells, lesbians and wild redheads.
I’m from scriptured women who go thump with the Bible,
who find their tables filled with friends in need of prayer.
I’m from days of prophecy pie, and fear of the Lord
laced with fear of not becoming the fully unfettered me.
I’m from baked beans with Best Foods mayo in ceramic bowls,
and from patchwork dresses and roast chickens.
I am from Elvis records and hot pink curlers in blonde hairs.
I’m from the longing and the howling at the moon.
I’m from red roses in bowls of water blessings
and from quantum physics for breakfast.
I am from two women. A poet and a painter.
Precise. Pottery. Prophesy. Paradox. Wet paint.
I am from the one who thins her own forest with a chainsaw,
and from the one who is in love with language.
I am from dust, from in the beginning was the Word
and the spit of Christ mixed with the soil of seeing.
I am from the particles of a love pure enough
to raise the dead and put peace in the heart of my chaos.
I am from the non-judgement of transvestites
in red dresses and high heels on Sunday morning San Francisco’s gospel.
I am from learning to love the Lord from African Americans
who took me under their wings into the streets of creation.
I am from Native Americans who showed me where I live
smudged me from childhood and would not let me forget.
I am from the United States, occupied territory, red.
My teachers have called me to action, Aho!
I am from my sister Cinnamon, a bad ass on a motorcycle
with a devil-may-or-may-not care blues song blazing.
I am from my brother the Carpenter hammering out
an uncertain future with many daughters to call his own.
I am from my sister in the deserts of Mexico
with her miracle child holding the family secrets.
I am from the Virgen de Guadalupe’s crescent moon
and from making wrong things right.
I am from willing to die for love dreams
and from ten years of prayers and miscarriages.
I am from matriarchs and yet finally choose:
I will not walk the path of the Matriarch.
I am from the Northern parts of California,
from more homes than I can count, from rolling green hills
and grey blue beaches and seagulls that love pepperoni pizza.
I am from the walk on the wild side with a Prince tattoo
from his 1982 love symbol.
I’m from the constellation called Cosmic Cowgirls
and my imaginary white horse is named Commander.
I am from the need to gather the women,
the mending power of circle and drum and feather.
I am from ancient Russian women grandmother shamans
and Scandinavian grandfathers who made musical instruments.
I am from the kitchen of the Red Madonna,
Mother of the all seeing all forgiving
One whose enormous tent stretches from star to star.
I am from Her mothership and from His Gospel.
I am from legends. I am from freedom.
I was born for hot summer days with nowhere to go
with my West Virginia lover in a white convertible.
I am made from adventure, that is my middle name now.
I am forged from the riddle bone of my Muse
who loves leopard print and ghetto saloons,
eats chocolate with peanut butter by candlelight,
she writes poetry from a red chair at midnight.
I am from the colors of woman
from a sisterhood
who seek to serve to transform wounds into wonders
through the alchemy of dancing paintbrushes.
I am from mermaids who sing each to each,
who tell tall green tales to salty sailors
seducing them with martinis, two olives please.
I am flown from wonder woman and her glass plane.
I am pulled from stardust into matter, I am star woman.
I am pulled to the gravity of earth, I am earth woman.
I am from the need for justice for all and kindness
falling in love with each day like a schoolgirl crush.
I am from the mother tongue of creativity expressed with intentionality.
I’m from the impossibility.
I’m from being totally for you without losing me.
I am from the mystics of the red thread café,
a place between tomorrow and today, I’ll meet you there.
Where the mysteries of the universe drop colored ribbons
like clues just on the other side of the narrow gate.
Inspired by George Ella Lyon’s poem: Where I’m From
Written on the day after Sue’s 8oth Birthday
On the day Prince died at 57 on the Full Moon on April 21.
The day before we get the keys to our new live work space.
On the eve of Passover.