The Milwaukee area is filled with my husband Adolph’s former students. He taught art at UWM for 33 years, and now, eleven years since he retired, they often stop him in the street or at an event to say they studied with him in the ‘60s, or ‘70s, or ‘80s, or ‘90s and loved his classes. They describe his impact on them and the work they’re doing now.
Actually I’m one of Adolph’s former students. I studied with him before he started teaching. That was our original agreement in January, 1960: I’d be his model, and he’d be my teacher. It worked out well for both of us!
Lives may change in dribs and drabs, in falls, in sudden soars, with trauma, loss, raves and praise, with the people we happen to meet, a dream that awakens us in the night, chance remarks, sudden insights, and we may be aware, or unaware, that something’s different.
When Jeff Poniewaz invited me to be part of the Earth Poets in 1988, I did wonder whether I was really a poet, to say nothing of whether I was an Earth Poet! After all, I’d written very few poems, and only one worth mentioning.
There’s a corner house a block from ours, and every time I pass, I inspect the lawn. I want to be sure there are dandelion leaves.
A few years ago I’d sometimes see a stroller leaning against the garage and a dog lying in the grass next to a “pesticide application” sign. One day I saw a woman lift a child into the stroller. I inhaled, oh, I hate doing this, and asked her if she’s aware that lawn pesticides pose a danger to her child and her dog.