by Debby Irving


I am from lakesides and campfires and cool starry nights

From laughter and togetherness, competing and rollicking

I am from Scotch Bridge and tennis and horses and diving

From canoeing and skiing and skating and Clue

I am from frostbitten fingers and cards by the fire

From sunscreen and sea salt and steep mountain hikes

I am from stolen land profits and denial as an art


I am from pleases and thank yous and being a good girl

From stuffing down anger and sadness and shame

I am from swimming while sinking and not knowing why

I am from Country Clubs and cotillions that taught me to notice

That status meant property and property meant power

I am from studying my role while ignoring my soul

I am from forgetting myself and losing my way


I am from starting to remember and making a U-turn

I am from learning to listen and marrying for love

I am from growing a family full of flaws and resilience

I am from daughters and siblings who join me in rawness

I am from vulnerability and conflict and courage and connection

I am from not holding back and from wearing myself out

I am from trying new ways to undo damage done

I am from leaving my trappings and coming back home

To fierce conversation where sparks fly and warmth heals.

Fire Image from Better Body Fitness