Today's Beautiful Gem: `All I wanted was to sing' by Mary Wilke

"When I was in first grade I loved to sing.
When it was my turn I'd stand up
and sing clearly and happily,
thorougly enjoying myself.
My teacher declared me singing champion...

"Why did something as innocent and joyful
as the music of small children
have to be turned out into a contest?
The voices should have been sources of joy,
not pride or shame.
But my first grade teacher thought
that my talent should be brandished in front of my peers...

"My joy became a mixture of pride and shame,
and as time went on shame overshadowed pride...
My teacher was the one who wanted a champion;
all I wanted was to sing."

om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao