When I was 8 yrs old,my class was assigned to write about the seasons - mainly Fall. I set out my large ruled paper & newly sharpened pencil & set to work. I finished and came up with this:
When Autumn's curse comes alive,
And spreads it's
loneliness throughout the land ,
Leaves crack and crows caw for they are
all creatures of Fall.
squirrels quarrel with the mice and leaves fall
because they have lost their lives.
--- Amber © 1989. All rights Reserved.
I was truly excited to show the teacher. When she took the paper from my hands, I couldn't help but grin. But a frown slowly moved across her face. She looked at me squarely, and shrilly asked:
"where did you get this? What book did you copy this from ?"
I was taken aback. I had written this, like many of my other poems - the words seem to fall right onto the paper, with little editing. I couldn't understand the disgust she showed toward me.
Her voice grew louder & shriller - she was making an example of me.
"If you don't own up to this lie, and tell me what book you got this poem from,
you will go out into the hall - to think about what you've done!" she remarked. Her face flushed.
I stuck to my story, for it was the truth. She grabbed my arm, pulling me out into the hallway. I was alone, left to internalize this chain of events.
I know now that she had probably figured that a girl from a poor background and divorced, single parent home could never have parents who educated her, better yet encouraged her artistic side.
But that was the opposite. I led a happy existence. My mother was always full of creative ideas to keep little kids occupied. She had encouraged my creativity, more than that she had awakened my thirst for original thought.