Of all the many salient features
by Herbert Nehrlich
of childhood I remember teachers.
Right after birth you get attention,
they cater to you, not to mention
free food and lodging and those rattles
with which to fight your frequent battles,
when no one listens to you crying
and Dad pretends that you are lying,
yet overall, all those distractions
and those which trigger strange reactions
are not what I would call oppressive
or, even in a pinch obsessive...
Back to the subject, the main feature
which, after all, is what a teacher
does to an innocent, still growing,
developing and overflowing,
perceptive and receptive student,
it seems to me it would be prudent
to lay all cards upon the table.
A teacher, though extremely able,
and with the best of all intentions,
can teach you math and those inventions
that are considered quintessential
for kids to harness their potential.
He'll teach you how to write to Nana,
about the bend in the banana,
and photosynthesis of grasses,
the volatile and inert gases,
about the nature of the STASI
and what went wrong with Esterhazy,
he shows you how to draw a stallion
and how to count in good Italian,
why Hitler ended up in power
and how an insect-eating flower
digests the flesh of German roaches
Do not forget their role as coaches.
They must be anchored in Gymnastics
so that they turn the dumbest spastic
into an athlete and achiever,
and, as a genuine busy beaver
he is a jack of all persuasions,
which comes in handy on occasions
of idiosyncratic troubles,
a teacher thinks and rubs his stubbles
around the chin for stimulation
of dormant neurons on vacation,
and students sit in awe and ponder
how soon the bell will ring, they wonder
how any human can stay jolly
when faced with this forsaken folly.
And in the end, when years have faded
and all your teachers judged and graded
you as a product of the system,
you'll find that after all, you've missed them.