Where I Come From by Elizabeth Brewster

People are made of places. They carry with them

hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace

or the cool eyes of sea-gazers. Atmosphere of cities

how different drops from them, like the smell of smog

or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring,

nature tidily plotted in little squares

with a fountain in the centre; museum smell,

art so tidily plotted with a guidebook;

or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,

chromium-plated offices; smell of subways

crowded at rush hours.

                                         Where I come from, people

carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;

blueberry patches in the burned-out bush;

wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint,

with yards where hens and chickens circle about,

clucking aimlessly; battered schoolhouses

behind which violets grow. Spring and winter

are the mind’s chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice.

A door in the mind blows open, and there blows

a frosty wind from the snow.

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