I come from a line of strong women
with hard lives,
from a house stale with cigarette smoke
and booze in the bottom of the glasses.
I come from poverty and longing
for an ordered existence,
for fresh frilly curtains,
from milk bottles on other peoples' doorsteps
that brought me to tears
on the way to school in the mornings,
a desire for Home bred bone-deep,
that has lasted all my life,
experienced but thrice.
I come from apple blossoms
and weeping willow,
lake whisperings and
peony-scented summer evenings,
music and dreams and a hope so bright
it kept me moving forward
through the pain
of outgrowing my beginnings
into that shining Tomorrow
the carrot of my youth.