What parts of my story belong here?
I grew up: in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where my world was mountains, a river, a valley, thunderstorms at night, crickets and cicadas, pine trees, walking in the woods, bringing bags of stale bread to the marina for the ducks, bringing carrots down the road to feed the horses, pulling a red wagon behind me, walking on the inside because I am younger, dogwood trees in blossom, kudzu draped across the landscape, a first kiss, a love of language.
I spent high school: in Wisconsin, where my world was corn fields and cows, the rank smell of the bay and weekends at the wildlife sanctuary, where I met my first love, my permanent love, where I had my first date, where I met and I met and I met: my oldest and dearest friend, my husband, my in-laws, where my parents remain, and my sister pilgrimages sometimes too.
I spent college: in Minnesota, where I learned the Midwest was more than flat monotony, where I settled into poetry as my genre (though prose always calls), where I worked at a bookstore, came home smelling like books, and trained to become a high school teacher.
I live now: in a small town in Minnesota, wedged up against the Mississippi River, married, with two dogs and two cats and a worm farm, a garden and a sewing machine and a desperately messy kitchen, where I write letters every day to my best friend and my grandmother, where many of my favorite girl friends live (still an hour away), where I travel to my MFA in poetry and wait patiently for my body to respond to gentle proddings, where I've begun the process of becoming a doula, where I meditate and practice yoga and have acupuncture treatments, where I read novels and slim books of poetry and tomes on the natural world, where I love and slumber and look at the stars.