Laurean D. Robinson, MA
I am from crisp, sweet potato pie
From golden, Crisco cooking oil.
I am from aging, brick brownstones in bustling cities
That sweep your breath and heart away if you let them
From a small small farm with noisy hogs, grazing cows, and pungent tobacco.
I am from pillowing cotton fields on a country road,
The spring gardenias whose fragrance
Floats over a breeze like a warm sun shower.
I’m from chicken fried family reunions and libation-laden fellowship,
From Willa Moore and Florence Everett
From John Robinson and Otha Berger,
From Deborah Joyce and Neill Donald.
I’m from the vigilant prayer warriors
Who say grace before every meal
And pray over every family hardship,
From “My door stands on welcome hinges” and “Love ya, Shug.”
I’m from the small town of Dunn, North Carolina
Outside Raleigh’s metropolis and ancestral Ivory Coast,
Of jumbo green okra and snapped string beans
Directly from the porch.
From a diligent sharecropper and decorated Air Force medic who both believed in
education as a pathway to upward mobility,
A laborious nurse who made local history
As the first African American nurse in Harnett County, North Carolina.
I am from tattered scrapbooks, half-written journals,
Unlaminated voter registration cards,
Yellowing yearbooks of youthful pasts
And expansive family bibles.
I am the manifestation of my great-grandmother’s dreams for the future
Her daughter’s personal sacrifices for the family
Her son’s best intentions for his offspring and political prowess
His wife’s selfless heart and analytical intellect
I am home.