Where are you from?

Image of Short Fiction & Poetry Contest - 2019
Every encounter seems to start with two questions
1. What’s your name?
2. Where are you from?
I don’t know

That’s not an answer to the question
I know
But what do you mean when you me ask where I’m from?

Where I was born?
Yorktown, VA
Where I live?
Williamsburg, VA
Where I moved from?
Sumter, SC
Where my family’s from?
Vietnam and Germany
Where my home is?
Well that could be FL, AL, NV, MS, HI, or TX too

11 moves and 11 homes have helped me realize
That I am not from a place
I am from experiences made in those places

I am from riding waves at Waikiki
And trail rides in the Mississippi Delta
I am from DC traffic
And small towns hours away from civilization
I am from language barriers found inside and outside of this country
I am from a myriad of cultures and families

I am from saying goodbye to so many friends
From summers spent in the back of our family SUV
As we cross the country again
I am from being able to pack and unpack
My entire room in less than a day
I am from “Class let me introduce you to our new student”

And of course they’ll ask me
“Where are you from”
Who knows what I said then

But now I know the answer to that question
So don’t ask me where I’m from
Because I’m from everywhere and nowhere
All at once