The Sculpture Teacher

With another teenage girl, I took lessons 
from an elderly German refugee. At first, 
we worked with clay, soft and sensuous  
to our fingers.  

Then she handed each of us a square 
of soapstone and a rasp. We filed at our 
stubborn green chunks, giggled, whispered 
who kissed who, who went all the way.  

“Vat is this nonsense, girls?” she asked. 
Her sculptures, stone faces that looked up, 
pleading for help, torsos that strained to free 
themselves from their marble, echoed her  

reproach. We stifled our laughter, took up 
the heavy metal tools, sawed at the blocks.    
I tried to create a statue of a woman, but could 
not find the hidden form within the stone.

About the Author, Dana Robbins: After a long career as a lawyer, I obtained an MFA from the Stonecoast Writers program. My first book, The Left Side of My Life, was published by Moon Pie Press in 2015. My poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals or anthologies, including The Fish Poetry Anthology, Door Is A Jar Magazine, Drunken Boat, Paterson Literary Review, Calyx, The Cape Rock, Edison Literary Review, Mount Hope Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, Poetica Magazine, Moth Magazine, and The Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. My poem “To My Daughter Teaching Science” was featured by Garrison Keillor on the Writers Almanac in November 2015.