900!!!!! ODE TO A BAD TEACHER 03-31-2020

God-Damn-You
thoughtless,
maladjusted,
evil man!
For by your damn-able act,
you contorted the world
of a 10-year-old-boy
merely by
not
asking the right question!

Instead,
you spoke that mean-hearted command
that slammed the door
through which that boy was,
just then,
for the first time,
peeking.

Just a thin plywood sheet
painted brown for the ground,
two-by-four-walls,
nailed all around,
dowel-sticks for cannons,
junk-wood-block-house for sentry duty,

Voila!

Fort Apache!

To lug home on the bus,
to be the scene
of great battles on his bed-room floor,
his hundreds of toy army-men
blasting away at the imaginary enemy,
a whole dictionary of sound effects,
rifle-fire! Cannon-roar! Screams of hundreds, wounded!
Men dying in horror,
to honor God and country!
Industrial light and magic effects
to make Hollywood envy….

Instead,

you removed
the iron cover of the garbage can,
pointed into it,
said,
“No one’s leaving my shop
with a piece of junk like that.”

Why?

Why didn’t you say,

(No, not
“What a beautiful piece of work”,
for that would have been a sarcastic lie
and I would have recognized it for one!)

But why not

“Did you have a good time building that fort?”

Or

“Will you enjoy playing with that fort?”

Or

“Maybe, next time,
if you want me to,
I can help you create
an even better fort.”

And allow me,
in triumph,
to take my creation,
home.

And so
to remember you,
for a life-time,
as the man who opened a door,
to skyscrapers, maybe.
Or the world of urban planning, maybe.
Or a sculpture-show in Soho,
maybe.

Who knows?

Instead of recalling now
“That Bastard Mr. M….
My 6th grade shop teacher
at P.S. 17, The Bronx.”

Maybe,
given how it has all turned out,
it was all for the good.
But,
after all,
thinking about it even now…

it doesn’t feel that way….

About Ken Greenman

Married and Happy. Retired and busy. Living in NC. 71 and counting. December 12, 2020 and it's 72! ... I would love some written comments, critiques, adulation or kind suggestions.... If you have the time and or inclination, please feel free! Not in fear but by faith. We will see. See you later! If you ever want to talk for real, email me and I will send you my cell number.... I am enjoying this!
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