Sometimes, when a writing prompt hangs me up, I turn to word definitions. A prompt to write from the line: “Where I am from” generated a whirlwind of unhelpful thoughts, and with only 10 minutes to work, I turned to the definition of “from” for help.
The result is this poem, in which I wrote a response to each line of the first definition that Google presented. One day, I’ll write longer poems from some of these.
the point in space at which a journey, motion, or action starts
from where did I begin?
The distance between a particular place and another place used as a point of reference
I am nearly a whole continent away from the first place I remember.
the point in time at which a particular process, event, or activity starts
some days, it restarts again and again, I reset the point from which the motion begins.
the source or provenance of someone or something
there is a hole in our family tree that I tunnel through and surface from empty.
the date at which something was created
must one count backward from 9 months or 10?
the starting point of a specified range on a scale
my provenance depends on the calibration.
one extreme in a range of conceptual variations
I am a great many things, from farming to art, from business to poetry.
the point at which an observer is placed
if I squint and lift my chin, I can almost see myself from here.
the raw material out of which something is manufactured
I am made from stardust, prairie dust, and the dust of yesterday’s failings.
separation or removal
I ejected myself from the place where I started.
when I was 15, a friend and a doctor saved me from myself.
I suffer from years of abuse inflicted on me, by me.
a source of knowledge or the basis from one’s judgement
I have collected myself from the readings of others.
I am different, now, from this poem.