I Come From

I Come From by Dean Atta


I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast,

jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves.

I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live.


I come from a home that some would call broken.

I come from D.I.Y. that never got done.

I come from waiting by the phone for him to call.


I come from waving the white flag to loneliness.

I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack.

I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase.


I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water.

I come from crossing oceans to find myself.

I come from deep issues and shallow solutions.


I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination.

I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother.

I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead.


I come from wherever I lay my head.

I come from unanswered questions and unread books,

unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks.


I come from who I trust and who I have left.

I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed.

I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself.


I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales.

I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry.

I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers.


I come from published words and strangers’ smiles.

I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper,

each a story or poem that never made it into a book.

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