Chicago Catholic School: September 1957

15 Aug








Mrs. Leichstig stared at the class with those cobalt steel eyes that sucked the energy out of a room.

The classroom still vibrated from the pummeling of little arms and legs. Books were pulled out and slapped down. Then the desk tops became as silent as a tomb.

The desks had seen generations of book slamming. New buildings would crumble one day. Landmarks might be torn down to make way for parking structures.  But these desks would be there long after the Rapture.

The class was hot and sweaty from the playground. Their stomachs gurgled with soup and sandwiches eaten on the run. The sun shouted through the window.  It was not finished playing. But inside the air grew as thick as tar.

Mrs. Leichstig’s voice droned on about important matters like God, Country and Discipline. Outside the window, God made the country grow green with trees and didn’t use an ounce of discipline to do it.

Books were put away due to an epidemic of stupidity.  The “lecture” began.  Eyelids drooped like blades of grass.  And hands folded softly like flowers in a rainstorm.

One Response to “Chicago Catholic School: September 1957”

  1. Sioux Steinkellner August 20, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

    Just looking at those little hands folded on the desk transports me back to Immaculate Conception on Sedgwick Street . I always knew you were a brilliant writer, but in this you’re a poet.

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