How it all began
When I was five, my kindergarten teacher accused me of plagiarism.
The poem in question was a four-line homage to my love of the piano:
My ten little fingers, the piano and me,
Make such lovely melody.
It fills my heart so full of glee,
For only me and my piano know the secret key.
(Obviously, my “Glee” reference was decades ahead of its time).
Nothing happened as a result—no academic judicial court was in effect in the mid-century world of Canarsie’s P.S. 115 at the time. But I never forgot the power of language (nor the distrust of misguided adults), and I soon abandoned my career as a budding piano progeny (not a sacrifice) to begin a lifelong love affair with words. (more)