Adult Education
by Rose Mary Boehm

My friend Bella, at 55, decided
on learning to play the violin. She’d been
a teacher with a class next to the music room.
She knew…
Undaunted, she has by now learned to read
two notes – as long as they are the same – and some stuff
in-between – as long as she can play it by heart.
Her husband is leaving home.

A couple of weeks ago, instead
of seeing to her foster rabbits,
the ad next to the one selling specially soft leather
shoes for bunions, enticed her into the
‘beautiful Worlington Halls, set in the valley
of something against the background of other’,
where she would spend a relaxing weekend
with other adults committing crimes
against the human ear on violins.

There were an 80-year-old who’d played
for 30 years, two elderly spinsters who’d
never taken their violins out of their cases,
one 70 plusser who played the viola
as one would a cello, and my friend
with her two notes of sight-reading achievement.

She told me that the lessons were alarming,
the teachers exceedingly patient,
the laughter too close for comfort and
the food outstanding.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Peru. Two novels and a collection of her poems have been published in the UK. Individual poems have been published (or are about to be published) in US poetry reviews, for example, Burning Word, Pale Horse, Other Rooms, Toe Good, Requiem, Full of Crow, Poetry Breakfast, Barefoot Review, Poetry Quarterly, Verse Wisconsin etc.