I am from the Linden House, from Hershey bars and Egg-Land's Best.
I am from the sprawling fields and the cottage I call home...
The steadfast lamp-post and the sound of whistling wind within the pines,
The smell of night that sets the stars in an endless sapphire dome.
I am from the Rhododendron and the rough-edged dandelion,
I am from barbecues and babies every year
From Neil and Alice (all of them) and Gunthers with O'Briens,
I am from "Living Books" and Little Flowers here.
From: "Someday, pick a man like Dad" and parents who would never fight.
I am from the Catholic church, the Easter Vigil masses.
(The "Exsulset" and "Lauda Sion" stun me with their glory,
I've heard them many times, and yet their beauty never passes.)
I'm from the Empire State, from Ireland and Germany's Black Forest,
Dad's eggs and tacos that it isn't Saturday without;
The murderous maneater lurking in the depths of Matawan Creek
(My grand-uncle nearly became his prey, but my great-grandfather heard his cry
and rescued him--his shirt became a compress for his wound.)
My grandfather whose marble grave is weighted down with stones
and photographs in Ziplock bags; the warm smile of my mother.
I am from the photo albums and from all our online "Blogs"
And all the places where we've been together with each other.
The pond where the blackbird's crimson wings flash in the evening light
And the goblin-like catfish come to eat from our hands
The candlelit procession through the streets on Mary's night
The turf near the 'Thunderpath' and the docks by the Crystal Beach
The bungalow in Barryville, the pageants at St. Paul's,
But mostly there's the Linden House, the place that I call home,
For I feel we've been there always, just my family and me,
And I'll return there when I have a family of my own.