Copenhagen Denmark 1944

Was not an inviting little

schoolhouse conjuring up fond

memories of an innocent time,

but a garrison grey structure

where strict discipline and obedience

held submissive scholars in check.

I remember most of my teachers,

a few with fondness, others

with sentiments bordering hate.

My third grade music teacher Mr. Dosa

was very short. The hump on his back

made him lean to the left when he walked.

I still see him coming down the hall

in his elevator shoes, the crooked walk

and the violin under his right arm.

He was kind and took a liking to me.

I had a knack for hitting the right notes

when we sang harmony.

My special job was to take the long

pointer from the chalk tray on signal

and use it to scratch his hump.

After which he would take me

on his lap and have me sing with him

We love the Green Forest.

I was eight and knew nothing of

what stirred men’s passions

I was honored to be singled out.

I never told my mother

but later wondered

what she would have said.

It was a time when parents

went to work, children went to school

and one life did not touch the other.