I am from tree lined streets, Black Jack gum
and icy cold coke bottles stacked in a vending machine.
I am from a tidy house with grey trim, the smell of green grass warm in the sun,
from abundant fruit picked from backyard trees; plums, figs, avocados and loquats.
I am from the mountain foothills rugged, steep and shrouded in smog;
from rattlesnakes in the gutter and coyotes trotting the streets at dawn.
I am from summer beaches, tanning oil and transistor radios.
I am from lemon fights in abandoned orchards, forts built in fields and running in sprinklers.
I am from Wassel and Albers, emotional fighters and reserved farmers;
I am from a professor father who taught me to be honest
and a homemaker mother who sewed all my clothes.
From a stamp collector and a lover of books.
I am from The Black Stallion and Little Women.
I am from books smuggled into class.
I am from the smell of horses on my skin and chlorine in my hair.
I’m a California native from Hungarian and German stock, hurka, cobass, sauerkraut and dill.
I’m from avocado on toast and fresh bakery bread smeared with butter;
From dirt and sand and sun.