Where I’m from, women fix their own bicycles
and talk about placentas at the dinner table.
My beautiful mother, years before we met. Photo by a dear friend of hers.
Where I’m from, you’re from where you were last and we don’t shave our legs (except maybe Friday nights). Women swim naked and make sweet tea in Mason jars too big to wrap my what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up sized hands around, dancing in purple leather shoes and carrying casserole dishes full of guilty love from our house to yours every time someone dies or gets married. Where I’m from, mothers have the last word and sweet peas have the ayes the moment they poke their heads around the wire corners of the habitats our mothers built for peas and caught children and rabbits and butterflies and tin-can phones, too, like they knew they would. Where I’m from fingers are sticky July to September and Band-aids don’t come off until you promise not to scratch and the leaves turn bike-crash-scab burgundy and catch you on the nose on your way home from school. Where I’m from, Mirriam-Webster is an inevitable dinner-guest when Elijah’s out and we celebrate as many holidays as possible, because who knows what religion Aunt What’s-Her-Bucket is this year and wouldn’t it be nice to just leave these lights up all year round? Where I grew up, growing up is less important than swimming naked and sweet peas and mothers because it’s better to be a good person with bad habits than end up grown up and straight up and absolutely perfect and absolutely numb. Where I’m from, I can be proud to be from somewhere where I’m just another pair of scabbed up knees in the oak tree because we all know better than to try and make me come down. Where I’m from, I learned to be a woman on my hands and knees in the garden and on ladders painting houses and under hoods and over fences and inside books and without ribbons and protesting on Main St. and preferring boldly incorrect to comfortably complacent.
Where I’m from, women fix their own bicycles and talk about placentas at the dinner table.