Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Am From.....

I am from Chevy cars, from Camel cigarettes and ashtrays.

I am from a home with one heating vent that was raced for every winter morning to giggle at the warm air billowing under our nightgowns.

I am from the strawberry fields and corn stalks and the weeds on Potato Hill.

I am from praying around a crucifix every night and home-made clothes, from Mom and Dad and the five children that came after pretty little Helen.

I am from bathing in a metal tub out back in shared water and singing in the kitchen while we did the dishes.

From 'the look' that summed up what Mom was thinking and '...they're not laughing at you, they're laughing with you...' -Dad's saving wisdom.

I am from the big church with the stained glass windows and confessional booths, from memorized prayers and many lit candles, from kneeling up straight and a pretty white communion dress, from statues that saw your every move and sermons that left me wanting more.

I'm from Ohio, decades after Austria and Italy, perogies, kolaches and Easter Cheese.

From the little boy Bimbo and his charismatic singing, and the quiet girl who loves to dance and won bowling trophies and the secrets we'll never know.

I am from stories never told and photographs in boxes, from memories contrived from perception and smiles that hide forgotten fears and troubles, yet tell of the strength to face tomorrow.

~Helen Williams c 2010

This poem is for participation in an autobiography poetry contest by Chrysalis. Contest ends tonight at midnight. See details here:


  1. Great poetry story. Just a little snapshot of your childhood.

  2. Hi Helen,

    Nice to meet you!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your poem. I can certainly relate to "the look" and "they're not laughing at you..."

    You've lived a full, rich life. We're empty nesters too, and still transitioning...

    Thanks for submitting your poem to my contest.


    e-Mom @ Chrysalis

  3. Awesome, I loved this! Especially nice knowing that I'm not THE ONLY ONE who spent a childhood "bathing in a metal tub out back in shared water!"
    from Jen @

  4. so tell me, where is potato hill? i am quite in love with this story.

  5. Hi Cindy,

    Its great to see you here! I must say that reading your Irish Journal took me back to the days we lived in England. I loved it there, but was glad to come stateside after four years! But it still has a huge, warm, soft spot in my heart. Oh the stories I could tell....
    Potato Hill was actually out behind the house we lived in on Dock Road. It was filled with endless rows that seemed each to be a mile long to the pre-teen me. It was usually weeded as punishment. I don't know if any of us every did anything bad enough to have to weed two rows, but one row couldn't be weeded in a day....
    I think most of my childhood memories come from the Dock Road house.... once we moved to South Ridge, the memories are thin. I don't think I really liked those years very much. You may remember me during those years better than I do! LOL