Where I Am From • D. Dina Friedman

I am from buildings and concrete, from subways lined with spit,
from dark lights, thick letters announcing untaken exits.

I am from dirt, the dying sand under backyard sidewalks,
where carrot tops killed for surface space in the one available crack.

I am from weeds, and the miracle of bulbs
returning to their place of birth. I am from ink, spilling and spilt,

then bursting, like businessmen swarming out of subways.
I am from dinner parties and dirty plates,

from the shades pulled in the living room,
where my great grandmother sat in her black chair peeking out

between soiled Venetian blinds as I emerged
from a powder blue dress, its starched skirt twirling

under its own steam
like a 50s dream.


D. Dina Friedman has published widely in literary journals (including Calyx, Bloodroot, Inkwell, Pacific Poetry and Fiction Review, Tsunami, The Sun, Anderbo, San Pedro River Review, Mount Hope, Inkwell, Hurricane Alice) and received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and fiction. She has also published two young adult novels. Escaping Into the Night (Simon and Schuster, 2006) was recognized as a Notable Book for Older Readers by the Association of Jewish Libraries, and a Best Books for Young Adults nominee by the American Library Association. Playing Dad’s Song (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2006) was recognized as a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2007.