I am from incense burning throughout the house

from Grandma frying fish

and making cornbread

and pouring sugar in the iced tea


I am from the many acres of land with an old barn, big trees and fences

big windows that let all the sunlight in

rocky driveway so I know every time someone is coming

but cold because of the draft under the door

wood floors you can see yourself in

ABCs, colors, anything having to do with learning posted on the wall

The poster looked as bright as the sun like it was outside of my house


I am from the yellow honeysuckles in the field

the wet mud pies I used to think I could eat

I’m from the open-one-gift-on-Christmas-Eve

and all going to Grandma’s for dinner

From Shawn West

and Kendall Short

and Pearl Taylor

and open relationships

no hidden feelings

screaming to make you understand

sleepovers, talking loud and laughter


I am from "you are never too old to get a beating"

and “back in my day”

I’m from going to church on Easter Sunday


I’m from a place of cornbread and collard greens

from the “when I was a kid” stories my aunt loves to tell

the "back in the day" stories my Grandma tells

I am from love, laughter and a lot of soul food

Kennedy West-Short was a ninth-grader last year at Manchester High School in Chesterfield County. Her work is featured in the current edition of Write Now!, a digital literary magazine that highlights the writing and creativity of Chesterfield students.

Commenting is limited to Times-Dispatch subscribers. To sign up, click here.
If you’re already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.