Pine Mountain Cemetery XVIX
Lingenfeltzer the Belle

Lingenfeltzer, it almost rings a bell, say
It fast and over twice and it does. Shame
Her stone is not shaped like it sings.

The absolute scorn of school board drudges,
With rules and paddles and gray miseries.
Her room was filled with magic, dreams, tomorrows.

No telling where you might find those kids,
Riverbanks, creek beds, forest glade, cliff edge
And even all the way to Frankfort on the train.

Blank maps with stickers provided riotous chaos,
You could hear them down the hall, out the window.
Frogs in tanks, a turtle, a little snake, and ants.

Window frames full of Dixie cups with plants.
Attendance sheet always lost, Bird Book disasters.
She mostly laughed at all that boring, duller stuff.

They never did a table, or a spelling test, turned
The pledge into a song and dance, Built an Alamo,
Log cabin too, staged plays they wrote of other lands.

Boiled a pot to make steam to turn the engine built
Of tinker toys and imagination drawn from books
Read by her when day was drawing to its end.

Sewed a history quilt with pieces brought from home,
Wrote a book about ancestors’ hard work past.
Decorated a tree with bread for birds and fatback, too.

Pitched a handmade tent Indian style, learn to weave,
Made soap and candles, dried apples and beans.
Jerky dried on the radiator, smelled to heaven high.

Those kids dreaded Saturday, not normal parents cried.
The teacher with a ring for a name stirred the pot too long.
Rules writ there for a reason the elders all decreed.

The Teacher College way across the state took her in,
Saved the mountain kids such wild and silly lessons.
Kept them safer, duller, ready for life’s test, they said.

Today we call it experiential or hands on or some such.
The shame is we didn’t listen to the kids who knew
Magic taught best the lessons  learned for life.