|Saved by my mother|
The much-folded sheet of lined, looseleaf paper holds faint lines written in pencil. In what year? Sometime in the early 1960s, but there is no date. Here is a poem I’d forgotten I wrote:
Behold the tragic hero.
I have wronged him, so he thinks.
And yet his head is held up high
While troubled spirit sinks.
He wants no pity, no not ye,
Nor any sympathy.
It is a point of honor
That he act courageously.
His tears are locked within his heart.
He mustn’t let them show.
That I should great him thusly!
Oh, such a cruel blow!
I too have known this feeling
Of despair my little man,
And others have been knowing it
Since first the world began.
Sitting in the corner,
His back is ramrod-stiff.
Come here, my silly little lad,
And give your mom a kiss!
The twist at the end was undoubtedly influenced by short stories of the mid-twentieth century.
And then there is this --
When the sheet of paper is folded up again or turned over, a division problem appears: 675 divided by 12, yielding a solution of 56.25. I think I know the reference to the problem, and that would date to 1963 or 1964, the year my violin teacher persuaded my mother that I needed a better instrument if I were to continue to make progress. Payments of $56.25 a month for a year purchased a very nice old French violin, made by Claudot in 1899. I had the violin until the late 1980s, when I sold it to finance my first trip to Paris.
Visual art was not my strong suit. We non-artistic types had a few art classes in junior high school, but I certainly never signed up for drawing or painting or anything like that in high school, so this piece my mother held onto must have been something I did in junior high. I seem to remember that we chose pieces of colored construction paper from a box and arranged them, then painted the resulting arrangement.
Such were my limited girlhood talents, precious in the eyes of my mother, I guess.