Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“Like Michelangelo, Only the Opposite”

Like Michelangelo, Only the Opposite
Miss Custer,
pretty as a movie star,
blonde, blue-eyed,
picks me
--well, George Guerrieri and me--
because she likes me--
well, because I draw and paint so well--
for the Christmas poster contest.
(Guess she likes him a little too,
or why couldn't I paint it myself?)

For weeks that late fall
we stay after school, in the art room,
on hands and knees,
just the three of us counting Miss Custer,
like Michelangelo, only the opposite,
the canvas on the floor not the ceiling,
drawing and then painting
Santa Claus, reindeer,
sleigh full of packages.

Our painting wins.
They put it on a billboard
on Wood Street facing downtown.
The whole family goes every night to see it
right up until Christmas.

But that isn't the best thing.
the best thing is when we work on it,
when it's time to quit
and Miss Custer has us stand one at a time
(That's when I wish George wasn't there too),
and with her lovely eyes up close to mine
so I can see me in them,
wipes the paint off my face
with a damp rag,
tilting her head this way and that,
like she's painting a picture herself.

Carmen Leone
© 2014

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
Colony For Artists Under Six- Evacuees To Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, England, 1941.
Danny Ludlow, evacuated from Gravesend in Kent, shows his teacher Miss Betty Hall a painting that he has been working on at Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon. Miss Hall was evacuated to Dartington Hall with the children.
Date     1941

Public domain [see note at this link]

1 comment:

  1. I love this - the care with the details especially at the end, the child basking in the attention and nursing the crush on his teacher.


Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. Please do note, however, that this blog no longer accepts anonymous comments. All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience.