I Am From

Nathan ZhangSeptember 29, 2016HeritagePoetry

I am from packed suitcases, the roaring sound of jet turbines,
The cabin crew’s announcements that I’ve heard a thousand times.
I am from Harris Teeter and food-tastings at Sam’s Club,
The stubborn memories of shopping on Sundays that still remain.

I am from that little Panera Bread, with broccoli and cheese soup in a bread bowl,
And the irresistible smell of Chinese food, especially my grandmother’s steamed buns.

I am from ever-growing eyeglasses and the vegetable garden in my backyard.
I am from messy lockers and scattered books on my table.
I am from Brunson Elementary and the feel of mulch under my feet in the playground.

I am a cloud moving to a totally new place.
I miss my friends but there’s nothing I can do.

I am from one of the most polluted cities in the most populous country in the world,
Which has surprisingly started to feel like home.
I am from “Holy Moly” and “wo qie” — two phrases that you hear a lot in our house.
I am from Minecraft and TF2, games so addictive that I was almost consumed by them.

I am from books, which are doors to wonders, secrets, imagination, living skeletons,
Worlds I’ve never even dreamed before.

I am from quiet bookworms, nerds who bury their noses in books all day,
Who have become writers with great stories.

Down in our old Carolina home, bought and sold two years ago,
Sitsan album full of grey dust and old memories.

Snippets of the past unexpectedly
appear at night, a little dark and old.

Not yellowing photos, but warming love and hope, strength and compassion;
That’s what binds us together in the house we call home.

Nathan Zhang is a 12th grader currently living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He lived in China for about three years. His hobbies include reading, writing, gaming, computer hardware, and enjoying all kinds of food.