"Where I'm From"
by Gabby M.

I am from a place where fireflies light the night,
from the plastic playground and the wooden swing set.
I'm from the house I barely remember
sitting in the basement listening to the sirens.
I'm from the house with a kiln
where we would sit and paint ceramics.
I'm for an outdoor pool with countless activities
(that smells of chlorine and plastic floating toys.)

I'm from the hardworking
from the stubborn and the easy-going.
I'm from the European side
with those heavy accents and caring personalities.
I am from the guitar strumming
where singing the wrong words is a funny thing,
and it doesn't matter how you sing.
From the huge house
that always smells of baking goods,
and family's always around.
I'm from the hardship of two medical residents for parents,
and even though work was hard they still took care of me.
From the people who all look very similar,
yet each has a personality all their own.
I'm from a name nobody can pronounce correctly,
where we always have to spell it out
(it may be short, but it's Hungarian.)
I'm from a family that loves to explore new places,
traveling is necessary here.
I'm from a group that is my family,
no matter how far apart.

On my bookshelf are books upon books,
full of pictures and happy memories.
One that I can call my own,
and I can add to.

I'm from that small box of worry dolls and hanging dream catchers,
that keep the bad thoughts out and the good ones in.
This is where I'm from.
My home.

Prewrite #1
Pier Point

Pier Point Seven. This is a place I have grown up around. To me, it is more then just a swimming pool. It means friends, who are more like family, and dedication along with hard work. When you first walk in, you can smell the chlorine and latex caps that are in the locker rooms. You can hear the chatter of the swimmers or hear their splashes, depending on the hour. You can feel the energy surrounding you. It’s a happy place, with many memories, and more memories to come.

I remember when I first walked into Pier Point. I instantly knew I would love this team, and love this place. Though there was no talking going on, you could hear another sound. Splash. It is the kids on the team who were already swimming, who already knew this as a second home. I can still remember what it smells like. Musty and chlorine-y. As I take a step out onto the pool deck, I see a pool like no other. It looks old, yet the place is so lively. The people are so friendly.

I remember a few months later, a day a grief at Pier Point. Our friend and teammate, Megan, has passed on due to Cancer. Though Pier Point is normally a happy place for us, on this day it was not. There was sadness in the air. The water was abnormally cold, the weather abnormally windy, the people in Pier Point abnormally quiet. It is a day at Pier Point I will never forget.

I remember [almost] every day since I was eleven walking into Pier Point and being greeted by my second family. The dedication in Pier Point has a lot to do with the people there, and the people there have a lot to do with my memories. Without the people’s dedication, there would be no memories. There would be no “second home” or “second family.” But since there is dedication, Bam! There are memories, and good ones at that.

To me, Pier Point is a home, an emotion, and an endless chain of memories. From the latex caps, to the broken down lane lines, it is a place where we learn. We don’t just learn about swimming better, we learn more about ourselves. We learn how to handle each other at our best and worst and how in the end we’re all in the same boat of pain. No matter how fast or how slow we may be, we’re still together, we’re still a family, a family that’s always around to help each other out. Without Pier Point none of this would have been possible. There would be nothing, no connection to others and no family, we wouldn’t be united as a team; we would be separate pieces. No matter what anyone else says, Pier Point is a place of good thoughts. A place where anything can happen, and where dedication is key.
I never regret walking into Pier Point on that first day, and I never will.