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TKaM: “Where I’m From” Adaptation – Mayella

CHALLENGE: Write your own adaptation of this poem as a character from something we’ve read this year (or from a character’s perspective from an SSR book).

I am from poverty, 

from politeness and pity.

I am from the nickels for ice-cream. 

(Shiny, hidden, 

they felt like secrets.)

I am from the chipped slop jars, 

the red geraniums

whose beauty I cultivated

as if they could save me.

I am from Ewells and Maycomb, 

from whiskey and racism.

I am from the you-try-and-make-mes 

and I’ll-kill-yas.

I’m from the testimony on the stand

with my father looking on

and not answering the lawyer’s questions.

I’m from Bob and Burris’ Branch, 

relief checks and crawling cooties. 

From the chiffarobe Tom Robinson 

busted to help me out 

the lies I told to avoid another beating.

In the courtroom was a jury

ignoring the truth

a verdict of guilty 

to haunt me and kill him.

I am from the dumpster —

trash strewn in the front yard — 

no hope to be found.

I would LOVE to work with you on this poem – let me know if you are interested and we can meet in a google doc. I hope someone is up for the challenge.

adapted from George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From”

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