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Julia by Lawrence M. Lesser
for Julia Louise (Shanblum) Lesser, 1907-1981
in motion my journey
For a quarter-century, my grandmother
taught math with distinction
in the public schools
of Fort Worth.
Driving up to Colorado for my first professorship,
Dad and I stop at her grave,
reflect on how
a tone, left a legacy.
In our family of
a tiny perturbation
could yield big changes.
Surely the enrichment
gems she’d mailed me over my youth
made such a shift in my intellect.
A perturbation no less important was how
aside gender roles.
She was an athlete in her youth and later
coached baseball teams of each gender.
A former student wrote my dad,
“Your mother taught the girls we could be
savvy in math right alongside the boys. . .
your mother opened up the ordered universe for us. I can still see
the chalk flying when she hit the board
in a frenzy of excitement.”
Larry Lesser has recently established a Facebook page for persons interested in mathy poetry. Visit it -- and share.