Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.
Friday, February 18, 2011
In spring, 1963, we moved from Savannah to Wichita. During the first week at the new school my third grade teacher put a finger under my chin, lifted it up slightly and said, “Why don’t you try looking up when you walk? Be proud of yourself.” I am sure her goal was to help me fight, as she perceived, my low self esteem. What she didn’t know was that I came from a place where there were at least four varieties of snakes, always hidden in thicket and underbrush, which could strike a kid’s bare foot, leading to amputation or death. I learned those small details before kindergarten. No, she couldn’t have understood that. This new school, in Kansas, was surrounded by wheat fields on two sides and the biggest problems were mice and rabbits.