I Am From

Kirsten Vanderscheuren was one of the admins of Casual Writers' Critique here in Madison. We met on Saturday afternoons. I knew her for less than two years, and only for a few Saturday afternoons. Being a devotee of Live from the Met in HD, I had to skip the last two of these, and looked forward to the April meeting when I was planning to read the last of the short story I had been working on here. Kirsten will never get to read it, and I will not be able to follow the adventures of her talking animals and their rebellion. A bout of pneumonia with lethal side effects took her from us.

Last Sunday a group of us met to read some of her shorter work. I read a very short piece called "The Alchemist." Someone else chose the following poem and, with the express permission of her loving husband, I share it now with you.

I am from

by Kirsten Vanderscheuren

I am from cheese
From soft bath tissues and salon-quality nail polish
I am from the sun pouring into the sunroom that overlooks the prairie
Sparkling, sleepy, sounding of overtones from a well-tuned choir
I am from marigolds
Yellow and orange bursts that seed into husks that are satisfying to pluck for harvest
I’m from lighting our own fireworks on the fourth of July in the cul du sac and a difficulty sitting idle
From Bob and Louis
I’m from the ability to sleep through a lot and sarcasm
From “One cigarette will kill you,” and “You have to wash your face every morning”
I’m from the Nativity set, we played with the pieces like the figures were dolls
I’m from Madison, Germany, and Bohemia
Mexican breakfast and Swiss steak
From the time my dad shaved his moustache and the little red spider that ran around the citronella candle when we went camping
The roundness of Katelyn’s face compared to the length of mine
The foyer closet where the photo albums are ordered by year, and the basement where we keep the things we just can’t part with
Memories aren’t every day, but it’s a comfort to know they are safe and dry