Thursday, August 7, 2014

Memory of Italian Schoolroom


A one room school house
Segregating the rich from the poor.
Poor in back – rich up front.

Poor were sent on errands
Rich stayed to learn.
Poverty earned you sore knuckles
Wealth rewarded with sweet indulgences.

I sat in the back
Far from the teacher’s desk
She called only a few
To the delicacy she held.

My mouth salivated
At  the thought of sweet.
I pretended I heard my name
walking slowly to her desk.

Anger greeted my smiling lips
Ruler hit my extended hands.
In anguish I ran
To a very distant land.


This poem was written many years ago as I reflected on my childhood in Italy. This incident happened within the year we left Italy for America. The teacher who hit me gave me my first book, Pinocchio. I still have it and everytime I read it or see it, I think of the sweet denied.

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