For our first assignment, we were to write prose about where we’re from. This included all the sensations you’d experience in From, as well as something a stranger wouldn’t understand upon visiting. I was pretty liberal with that last part; actually, you probably wouldn’t get it if you weren’t native to my From.
My From is Port Huron, Michigan, a small city right on the “knuckle” of your thumb, and home to the Blue Water Bridge.
Where I’m From
If we’re being literal, it’s just a bridge to Canada;
a partition between river and lake;
a not-so-majestic structure of grey metal.
If we’re being figurative, it’s a painful failure to get off at the right exit
an inward flow of shoppers; bad drivers; “damn Canadians”
a side door out of the American drinking age.
If we’re being bitter, it’s a barrier between Northern yuppies and Southside trash.
If we’re being sweet, it’s our faithful boardwalk companion.
If it’s summer, it’s the starting line for a nautical Saturday on the lake.
If it’s winter, it’s an orifice for ice and freighters alike to squeeze through.
If you’re a stoner it’s what you fix your gaze on for who-knows-how-long.
If you’re a runner it’s what you fix your gaze on for who-knows-how-long.
If we’re being romantics, like we always can be, it’s the inspiration behind utterances of “I love this town,” while we stroll at dusk.
And if we’re being honest, it’s the uniting symbol
of where we’re from.