One of my blog heroes, Jenn from "Juggling Life," posted this intriguing meme. It is set up a little like Mad Libs, but the resulting poem is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Here is the template; it is easy enough for kids to try, but difficult enough for me to spend a couple hours racking my brains for the right things to say, and I still consider it unfinished!
I am from frying pans with loose handles, from Spam and rice served with a glass of Orange Tang.
I am from upstairs apartments with plain white walls that smelled of garlic, fish, and fabric softener.
I am from the Rose of Sharon, the jacaranda, red geraniums in terra cotta pots, and wind-blown evergreens arched over the Pacific, east to west.
I am from piano, tennis, art, writing, math, ballet/tap/jazz, gymnastics, and swim lessons. From Jung, who renamed herself Wendy, and Chong, who chose James.
I am from hot-tempered self-sacrificers and a people who pass down their sorrow along with their hair color.
From "pretty for a fat girl" and "smart for an airhead."
I am from a God who was absent as I fell to the depths of despair, which taught me to never mind eternity and focus on what is on earth.
I'm from "the land of morning calm," from seaweed soup and fermented vegetables covered by two layers of plastic wrap, sealed inside ceramic tupperware.
From the boy who almost lost his family at the train station while fleeing the North Korean army, the little girl who first tasted chili and cornbread from the GIs who served their rations to the children at her school, and the family who landed in the heart of Texas so their daughter could have a good life.
I am from ancestral mementos stolen by thieves, faux-leather-bound photo albums, yellowed report cards in dusty portfolios, stories retold at every gathering, flashes of unsorted memories in my mind. I am from life lessons learned the hard way and the endless search for kindred spirits.
I encourage you and your kids to try it out for yourselves!