Back to Daniel Green's Artist PageTo the Artist's Page                 Back to the Unlikely Stories home pageTo our home page
Near Thing in ChitwanTo Daniel Green's previous piece     Pelagic Garden: EleutheraTo Daniel Green's next piece

Hell's Kitchen  1916

At school, the day began in the assembly hall,
where we were marched to the platform.
The principal and his aides frisked each child
for weapons: knives, billies, clubs, icepicks.
Contraband confiscated. Grim silence.

No lectures, sermons, admonitions, no flag
salutes or pledges. Suspended walls rolled
into place, making classrooms, where teaching
reluctant learners began. Mine suffered.

Teacher was a nice old Irish lady
who favored me as her pet, sowing seeds
of resentment among my classmates,
further worsened because I was a Jew.

My journeys to and from school
were a gauntlet fraught with fear
I'd be waylayed, belabored with stockings
filled with sweepings from the streets.

On reflection, I agree, it was less frightful.
Today at even among the best of schools
frustration, anger sparks terror with guns.

To the top of this pageTo the top of this page