Kaylee Greenberg

Where I’m From

I am from afghan blankets
From my great grandmother’s arthritic fingers 
And multicolored with polyester thread
I am from the floorboards 
Creaky, stained hickory, and spawned
Chills on your bare feet
I am from pine trees
Tall, and sturdy, raining conifers on the dull grass
I’m from birthday posters and being late
From my mother and grandmother 
I’m from the Sunday brunches
And games of screw your neighbor
From I love you’s and to the moon and back’s
I’m from prayer candles
Accompanied by tears of wax
I’m from Ellis island
Where the hopeful prayed for admission
Foreign names modified to settle in my great grandparents
New world
From cinnamon dusted kugel
And crispy latkes
From the chugging trains my unknown great grandfather 
Would hop on to build the Golden Gate Bridge 
The Ruby Woo lipstick my grandmother decorated
Her aged mouth with
The tin box previously housed by pumpkin brittle
Now home to wedding photos and baby teeth
I am now forever a name in a book of immigrants 
Protected in blankets 
And comforted by lipstick stains

About the Author: Kaylee Greenberg is an 18-year-old from Buffalo Grove High School in Illinois. She has previously been featured in Teen Ink, a platform for adolescents to share their liberal arts and creative ideas. Her short story, "Polyester" was published on this website. She is an avid reader and writer, and plans on compiling a list of her own novels throughout her life.