Anne-Marie Heckt: I Am From


On Tuesday we launched a synchroblog on SheLoves in conjunction with Heritage Day in South Africa. By the end of the day, there were about 30 link-ups and I put a word out that–perhaps–we could reach 200 link-ups? Not because we want to reach a number, but because I am loving reading these posts. It feels like a giant living room where we get to know each other better. I also offered to host any sistafriends who don’t have their own blogs right here. Tina nudged Anne-Marie and Anne-Marie emailed me her Word doc. I am thrilled to dust off this blog for Anne-Marie, because she is one of our regular Friday contributors on SheLoves and I love what she brings.


By Anne-Marie Heckt | Twitter: @samheckt

I am from the tree leaning over the house

from bourbon and gingerbread

I am from large logs underlying bee-buzzing spaces, over coffee-tins filled with sand. I am from the warm fireplace filled with

roasting popcorn, the ancient screen, the sieve space threading light with spangled shadows.


I am from the blackberry vine, the elderflower, the faithful holly hedge, standing witness.

The small cherry erupting in fountains of pink tassels whose long gone limbs

I remember as if they were my own.


I’m from advent and whiskey, from remembered deaths but forgotten life

from a faithful grandmother and a civil war writer, a soldier full of phrases sprouting in untutored letters

I’m from poker games and Shakespeare,

and from hearts played in smoky rooms.

I’m from stop and don’t-go-out from sneaking steps under a swollen moon

and brier rabbit and slaves by a narrow bed


I’m from candlesticks brought from a war zone and lit in a harrowed land,

I’m from lake-wood America and downtown Spain; paella and fried chicken, grits and bacon chowder.


From boy-men swimming with black snakes

fine art from a hambone hand

silver goblets, ancient chests, and threadbare shoes

ballet slippers, ivory white keys, and crooked teeth,

and stones saved from a crashing shore, wild with possibility.

  • Sharyn Sowell

    Anne-Marie has depth, that’s for sure, and she’s as talented a writer as I ever met. Love her gift with words and her whole-hearted transparency. Thank you for sharing her poem with us.