Dear teacher…

by Sonia Maria Luce Possentini

Dear teacher…
Do you remember?
All standing in silence
Our Father who art in heaven...
Dear teacher, the roll call
and an unadorned primer.
Dear teacher the list of the good and the bad
your black pinafore
my black pinafore.
Your nothing and my ribbon.
Dear teacher,
pricking spindle between the doorposts.
Of all my teachers, your face is the only thing I remember about you.
I can’t remember your name…
You know, I try to remember.
But your image is all that I retain.
Your shoes,
your skirt,
your untidy
backcombed hair.
How ugly you were...
And how frail.
When I saw you at the corner of the stairs, concentrating on dying your mouth with a single red spot that joined your lips and ears, I recognized the same solitude.
Dear teacher
do you remember?
The words
The marks for bad behaviour and that D in dictation I’ve never forgotten.
My appliance to the teeth and two pigtails
My red satin ribbon and my watchful fear, my dear teacher may I go out?
My wings and your thread
To be rewarded or punished?
But tell me: beauty, isn’t it a matter of flight?
Dear teacher
strict and silent
sad and lonely.
In silence
All standing
The Lord’s prayer
for you too.