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Jessica Harrell


I am from piano keys, Bible verses, and written words.
I am from cotton seeds, corn husks, and choppin’ weeds with a hoe.
I am from hydrangeas, crepe myrtles, dogwoods, and gardenias in the garden.

I’m from fried chicken, homemade biscuits, sweet pickles, and blueberry yum-yum.
I’m from the Chowan River, Ahoskie, and Sunbury in Gates.

I’m from "Go on and get yourself some more" and "You are my sweet girl." I’m from
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "It Is Well With My Soul."

From "Humble our hearts and make us truly thankful
For all the blessings we have received"
From the ground bees that stung Grandpa on the tractor
And chased him to the house and the glasses he lost along the way

I am from homemade jelly, jams, and relishes, china cabinets, and patchwork quilts.

I am the sandy haired river girl, barefoot picking berries
        Staying close to home like daffodils branching from a bulb
        And blooming every spring.

This poem first appeared in North Carolina Conversations, Summer-Fall 2010 (North Carolina Humanities Council).
Used here with the author's permission.



Jessica Harrell has been writing poetry since she was seven or eight years old. "For me," says Jessica, "writing poetry is a way to journal the experiences and memories of my daily life, a 'condensed soup' of my thoughts and memories." A native North Carolinian who now teaches second grade in the small rural town in which she grew up, Jessica enjoys reading and photography in addition to writing poetry.

Post New Comment:
Very cool! Lovely tribute to one's roots!
Posted 01/19/2011 11:36 AM
From way up here in Canada I have come to know your place. Thank you. CA
Posted 01/19/2011 10:13 AM
Jessica, this is beautiful! I love that last line. Anjie in WI
Posted 01/19/2011 08:21 AM
Phyllis Beckman:
"The sand haired river girl" scored, big time, with this bit of "blue berry yum yumm"! Bravo!
Posted 01/19/2011 06:14 AM

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