The I am From Project has a poem template to encourage conversation. They write:
We want to be heard, not herded; we want to speak, not be spoken at or for; we want to break through stereotypes, profiling, and dismissal to be listened to in our full humanity.
I encourage you to check out the resources from their page.
Here’s my poem.
Where I’m From
I am from pink shag carpet,
from Coppertone sun tan lotion,
and my bologna has a first name.
I am the view from the hill overlooking Loon Lake,
lapping up peace from the rhythm of the waves.
I am from deep purple lilacs at the cabin,
ladybugs resting on yellow pillows at the center of daisies.
I am from being late to everything,
and people who always listened to my jokes,
and being the only morning person in a congress of night owls,
from George and Esther,
and we prayed for a baby and God gave us you.
I am from let’s stop for lunch,
and let’s stop again an hour later.
From do as I say not as I do,
and beware of strangers.
I am from flannel graph Jesus
and knowing all of the best hiding places for Sardines.
I’m from Manito Boulevard and building houses in autumn leaves,
pot roast and orange rolls.
From falling in love on a bus line in Burbank,
the ten Great Dane puppies born in the refrigerator box in the kitchen,
and that time the house was quiet and dim after dad went blind.
I am from the top drawer in the dining room chest,
a dig worthy of an archaeologist,
where I sift through
photos labeled “me and Edna”,
blurry instamatic shots,
and, other than a mirror,
my only chance of seeing my face reflected back to me.