The Rosenwald Schools work in progress screens in Maryland

Posted April 30th, 2014 by

Historic Takoma and We Are Takoma invited Aviva Kempner (director of The Rosenwald Schools documentary) and Stephanie Deutsch (author of You Need A Schoolhouse and a consultant on our film) to take part an excellent program about a historic school in Takoma Park, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. The event, entitled “Takoma Park’s Black School & The Rosenwald Legacy,” was held at the Takoma Park Community Center on April 29th.

Attendees first heard musical selections by African American composers, played by the Takoma Park band. One of the selections was “Lift Evr’y Voice and Sing,” by James Weldon Johnson, the recipient of the first Rosenwald fellowship. Then, Diana Kohn (the event organizer) introduced the night’s discussion topic. A work in progress excerpt of the upcoming documentary, The Rosenwald Schools, was then screened for the audience.


The Takoma Park Band
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, April 2014

After the screening, Aviva and Stephanie discussed their work and the history of the two-room Rosenwald School that was built in Takoma Park on Geneva Avenue. Alumni from the school were present and shared their memories of attending the school.


Alumni of the Geneva Avenue Rosenwald School
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, April 2014

Thank you to Diana Kohn, Historic Takoma and We Are Takoma for making this event possible.

Aviva Kempner sits in on Nashville Film Festival panel discussion

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by

Women in Film and Television, Nashville, gathered together a great panel of filmmakers for the Nashville Film Festival last weekend. Along with Aviva Kempner, other panelists included Joanna Lucchesi, Sr Vice President, Entertainment Division, City National Bank of Beverly Hills, who has more than 30 plus years of experience in the film and television industry, Guy Noffsinger, Senior Producer, Multimedia Specialist NASA, Washington, DC with multiple credits as producer, director and writer of NASA released Television and Film projects such as; Space Shuttle, NASA Remembers Neil Armstrong and Friendship 7, 50th Anniversary and Beth Harrington, multi award-winning independent producer, director and writer, who has been making media professionally since 1977.

Harrington premiered her new film, The Winding Stream at the festival. The Winding Stream – The Carters, The Cash Family and The Course of Country Music is a music history and performance film. Her film features members of the Carter and Cash families and includes an interview with the legendary Johnny Cash who was interviewed by Ms. Harrington 3 weeks before his death in 2003. Local television personality Demetria Kalodimos emceed the program. Kempner also showed the two work in progresses of The Rosenwald Schools to an enthusiastic audience.


Guy Noffsinger, Beth Harrington, Deborah Gordon, Demetria Kalodimos, Joanna Lucchesi, and Aviva Kempner

Thanks to Women in Film and Television, Nashville, for putting together a great event!

Two new works in progress of The Rosenwald Schools screen at DC JCC

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by

Thanks to the Washington Jewish Film Festival, a brand new work in progress version of The Rosenwald Schools with the added interview with Rep. John Lewis screened last Sunday, April 13th at the Washington D.C. JCC. The large audience saw both the new work in progress and a special premiere of a 9 minute sequence about Julius Rosenwald’s immigrant father and the philanthropist’s childhood in Springfield, Illinois that will be near the beginning of the film.

The event was co-sponsored by Docs In Progress, The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, and Women in Film & Video.

The audience was very responsive to the program; many who attended gave valuable suggestions to us for how to improve the film. Thanks to all those who attended for your wonderful input!

If the funds are raised we hope to have the film ready for release in March 2014 and have a premiere at the Washington Jewish Film Festival, 25 years after director Aviva Kempner founded the festival with Miriam Morsel Nathan.

For ways to see the work in progress of the film and show it at a fundraising parlour party, contact cieslafdn@gmail.com. We would be most grateful for help in finishing the film and you would be listed among the end credits. All contributions are tax deductible.

New work in progress of The Rosenwald Schools screens at DC JCC

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by

A brand new work in progress version of The Rosenwald Schools with the added interview with Rep. John Lewis screened last Sunday, April 13th at the Washington D.C. JCC. The large audience saw both the new work in progress and a special premiere of a 9 minute sequence about Julius Rosenwald’s immigrant father and the philanthropist’s childhood in Springfield, Illinois that will be near the beginning of the film.

The event was co-sponsored by Docs In Progress, The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, and Women in Film & Video.

The audience was very responsive to the program; many who attended gave valuable suggestions to us for how to improve the film. Thanks to all those who attended for your wonderful input!

If the funds are raised we hope to have the film ready for release in March 2014 and have a premiere at the Washington Jewish Film Festival, 25 years after director Aviva Kempner founded the festival with Miriam Morsel Nathan.

For ways to see the work in progress of the film and show it at a fundraising parlour party, contact cieslafdn@gmail.com. We would be most grateful and you would be listed among the end credits.

Denzel Washington in a new Broadway production of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

A new production of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Denzel Washington, debuted in the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York last week. The show is getting good reviews, including one by Ben Brantley of The New York Times.

Describing the set, Brantley writes:

A claustrophobic fatigue pervades the cramped, South Side Chicago apartment in which “A Raisin in the Sun” is set. And despite its often easygoing tone, a happy ending feels far from guaranteed. As designed by Mark Thompson, the Youngers’ living room cum kitchen is a narrow corridor that keeps its three generations of inhabitants in close, erosive proximity.

The kitchenette apartment where the action of A Raisin in the Sun takes place is based on the tiny shared-bath apartments that many African Americans called home in overcrowded, segregated early 20th century Chicago. After seeing the cramped conditions in the area of Chicago known as “The Black Belt,” Julius Rosenwald built the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments, a spacious, modern, well-equipped building in the heart of the neighborhood in 1929. A scene from the 1961 film adaptation, starring Sidney Poiter, will be included in The Rosenwald Schools documentary and is already incorpoated in the twenty minute work in progress, which is used for fundraising to complete the movie. For ways to see the work in progress of the film and show it at a fundraising parlour party, contact cieslafdn@gmail.com. We would be most grateful and you would be listed among the end credits.

You can read more about the new Broadway production at The New York Times.

Birth of a Nation mentioned in EW interview

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

Jeff Labrecque interviews World War Z author Max Brooks in Entertainment Weekly about his new graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters. The new book, about a black infantry unit during World War I, looks great. One moment in the interview caught our eye, in connection to some research we’ve done for The Rosenwald Schools.

You use pop culture from the period as crucial plot elements, including D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, a blatantly racist film that reflected attitudes of the time — so much so that Woodrow Wilson screened it at the White House.
I had seen Birth of a Nation in college, and it just blew me away. The movie itself didn’t blow me away; it was the reaction to it. Like you said about Wilson, people loved that movie — white people. That was the Star Wars of its day.

Despite its overtly racist themes and imagery, the release of Birth of a Nation (arguably the first significant feature-length film) was indeed a major event. We learned, however, that in addition to playing to some white viewers’ racism (and even inciting racial violence in some cases), the film also galvanized the nascent NAACP. The film provided them with a nationwide target to organize against and boycott, which helped new organization find its footing and become one of the major advocacy groups for minority rights in American history. We interviewed historian David Levering Lewis about the White House screening of Birth of a Nation and its effect on the NAACP.

You can read the complete interview at Entertainment Weekly.

New interviews for The Rosenwald Schools, March 2014 edition

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

More lovely interviews for The Rosenwald Schools were filmed earlier this week in Washington D.C. First of the day was Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ms. Meeks told us about the National Trust’s involvement in Rosenwald School rehabilitation projects across the South, and their goal of restoring 100 of the roughly 800 extant structures in honor of the 100th anniversary of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington’s school-building program.

Ms. Meeks said that when she initially learned about the tri-fold funding structure of the original Rosenwald Schools, she was “astounded” that the often impoverished local African American residents were expected and able to raise a third of the money necessary to build each school in the program. This matching grant strategy amplified the effect of Rosenwald’s philanthropy dollar for dollar, but it also helped community members get emotionally invested and protective of their community’s new school. Meeks sees a parallel to this in her own experience with Rosenwald School rehabilitation projects of today:

In many ways that same model is being replicated today in the rehabilitation of the Rosenwald Schools. The National Trust is working to provide technical assistance to communities as well as grant funding that we’ve been able to accrue from other philanthropists. And the communities, the students and graduates themselves, are perpetuating this virtuous circle by reaching into their own pockets, putting money forward to help with the rehabilitation costs of some of these buildings. They understand that the preservation and the restoration of the Rosenwald schools is a way of keeping this story alive and continuing to contribute to the community.


Aviva Kempner and Edwin B. Henderson, II
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, March 25, 2014

Next up was Edwin B. Henderson, II, who we met at a panel discussion last month. Mr. Henderson is a historical preservationist living in Falls Church, Virginia. His mission is to preserve the legacy of his grandfather (with whom he shares his name), an early 20th century educator who established the first black athletic league in the District of Columbia. Dr. E.B. Henderson is known for his work in physical education, but as his grandson explained to us, he always had a broader scope for African American achievement:

My grandfather, Dr. E.B. Henderson, his philosophy was that, given equal access for African Americans to physical training and fundamentals of the sports, that they would be equal or superior to their white counterparts. [He] used physical education and athletics as a tool, not in and of itself, but as a way to send qualified African Americans to Northern colleges and debunk the myth of racial inferiority.

E.B. Henderson taught students like Robert Weaver (who went on to become the first African American to serve on a presidential cabinet) and his basketball program in Washington D.C. produced such luminaries as Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing and John Thompson. Henderson’s work was given a boost in 1912 when the Julius Rosenwald-funded 12th Street YMCA opened in the U Street area of Washington, providing a basketball court to a community that was severely lacking in recreational spaces. Having failed to convince the public schools to invest in large gymnasiums for young ballplayers, Dr. Henderson was extremely grateful when the Rosenwald Y was constructed.


A student studyinh in a dorm room at the 12th Street YMCA, circa 1910-1930
Photo credit: Library of Congress via Addison N. Scurlock

We also spoke to Rabbi Howard A. Berman about the Reform synagogue Julius Rosenwald attended in Chicago, which was headed by the dynamic Rabbi Emil Hirsch. Hirsch kept Temple Sinai at the forefront of progressive Judaism by breaking down cultural barriers with other Chicago communities, harshly criticizing racism and experimenting with radical ideas like services on Sunday. By way of explaining just how far ahead of the curve Hirsch, Sinai and Rosenwald were, Berman related this anecdote:

[Rabbi Emil Hirsch] asked Jane Addams to preach the sermon during one of those Sundays [at Sinai]. This was regarded as the first time that a woman–let alone a woman, but a non-Jewish woman–would speak from a Jewish pulpit. Her topic was the moral imperative of birth control for women in the 19th century. This was an unbelievable kind of a combinations of factors. If you wanted to have the perfect storm of shock value, it happened in Sinai Temple sanctuary on that particular Sunday. But that was very much Hirsch’s vision.


Rabbi Howard A. Berman
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, March 25, 2014

Our final interviewee of the day is a Professor of English at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. Lisa Page teaches Langston Hughes’ poetry in her university courses and she graciously related some stories of Hughes’ life during his two Rosenwald Fund fellowships (1931 and 1941).


Aviva Kempner and Lisa Page, March 25, 2014
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, March 25, 2014

Page grew up in Chicago nearby the Museum of Science and Industry, one of the most visible legacies of Julius Rosenwald. Rosenwald paid for the reuse of the historic 1893 World’s Fair building and the new museum, which original bore his name. You can read more about the Museum of Science and Industry’s history on our blog here. Page had some great memories about attending the museum as a child that she shared with us:

The Museum of Science of Industry was our playground, my sister and I, growing up. Every weekend, especially in Chicago in the winter when you can’t be outside it’s so cold. The Museum of Science and Industry was a few blocks away from our house, so every Saturday we headed to the museum of Science and Industry and lived there. We lived inside the human heart, the coalmine. We’d go see the baby chicks. All of these wonderful exhibits that you got to interact with. The whisper gallery. We just went over and over again to these same places. The German submarine, Colleen Moore’s dollhouse. We just lived down there dreaming of shrinking down to size and being able to live in that palace that she put together. It was this wonderful place for us to be.


Chicks hatch every day at the Museum of Science and Industry, showing genetic diversity at work
Photo credit: Lenny Flank (flickr)

Thanks to all our great interviewees!

Research and filming for The Rosenwald Schools in the “Music City”

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

Last week, the Ciesla Foundation’s Aviva Kempner and Michael Rose took a much-anticipated trip to Nashville to work on The Rosenwald Schools production. The purpose of the trip was bifold. The first was to explore the archives of Fisk, an historically black university that holds the Rosenwald Fund’s papers. After beginning in Tuskegee as a result of Booker T. Washington’s collaboration with Julius Rosenwald, the Fund’s school-building program was headquartered in Nashville for most of its duration. The second purpose was to film the alumni of a very special Rosenwald School located 35 miles northeast of Nashville in Cairo, Tennessee. Local historian Velma Brinkley coordinated our visit with alumni who still live in the area and about 15 former students graciously traveled out to their old school to talk to us on a cold, rainy day in early February.


Alumni gathered in front of the Cairo Rosenwald School
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

One of the best surprises of the trip to Cairo was brought to us by Lester Mae Hill, an aluma of the school. When we first arrived at the Cairo School, Ms. Hill and Ms. Brinkley showed us the school’s collection of historic photographs. In one of the photos (pictured below) Ms. Brinkley pointed out a mostly obscured photograph of Julius Rosenwald hanging above the door. While we have often read of Rosenwald’s portrait hanging in a place of honor in the schools he helped to fund, this was the first photographic evidence we’ve come across.


Students at the Cairo School. Ms. Hill is first on the left.
Photo credit: Cairo School alumni, unknown date

When we showed interest in the portrait of JR, which we didn’t see on the wall, Ms. Hill told us she had it stored in a safe place and immediately ran home to get it. Within a few minutes, she returned with a lovely, large portrait of the Sears president and educational benefactor. Some of her family members had taken the photo when the school was being remodeled and Ms. Hill was pleased to return it to its rightful place above the school’s front door. One former student told us that when he attended the school he was told it was of a benefactor of the school but did not know the name of Julius Rosenwald until recently.


Lester Mae Hill with the Cairo School’s portrait of Mr. Rosenwald
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

For this shoot we worked with a Nashville-based crew, Chris Conder and Steve LePard. Chris and Steve did some great work for us despite the chilly conditions in the Cairo School, which has inadequate heat for the cold spell Tennessee was experiencing during our trip.


Aviva Kempner and Chris Conder lining up a shot in the Cairo School
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

At the Cairo School we filmed 5 individual interviews with alumni and some group conversations. Interview topics ranged from everyday life at the school (cooking meals, playing sports and the school’s “privies”) to their childhood understanding of segregation and the struggles they went through to gain an education in a society that openly discriminated against African Americans. Many of the alumni mentioned that the entire Cairo community pitched in to support the school any way they could, and they all spoke fondly of their teacher, Professor Brinkley, who showed an uncommon dedication to his students and would often buy extra milk for students who could not afford it. His own children, including Frank who we interviewed, all became educators.


Aviva Kempner speaking the Cairo School alumni about our documentary project
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

In addition to filming the Cairo School alumni, we spent the better part of 3 days poring over the documents and photos that make up the Julius Rosenwald Fund Papers in the Special Collections section of Fisk’s Franklin Library. We found some great photos, including one of Julius Rosenwald with some children in front of a Rosenwald School. We plan to share it as soon as we secure permission. We couldn’t have done it without the help of Special Collections Librarian Aisha Johnson, and we’re very grateful to her. Ms. Johnson, who’s studying the Rosenwald Fund’s lesser-known library-building program, informed us that the Rosenwald Fund Papers are not only the biggest collection at Fisk’s library but also its most requested. Regular readers of our blog will know that we often link to Fisk’s outstanding Rosenwald Schools database, an online catalogue of construction information, funding totals, dates and images of virtually every Rosenwald School constructed under the Fund’s school-building program. It’s an easy to use database that should be stop number one for anyone looking into the history of a specific Rosenwald School.


Aviva Kempner with Aisha Johnson, just before Ms. Johnson’s interview
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

Along with Ms. Johnson, we also filmed interviews with the Dean of Fisk’s Franklin Library, Dr. Jessie Carney Smith, archivist volunteer Michael A. Powell, Fisk professor Dr. Reavis Mitchell and Middle Tennessee State University’s Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, who has written a wonderfully well-researched and informative study of the school-building program called The Rosenwald Schools of the American South. Between visits to the library, we also got a chance to tour a bit of the historic Fisk campus. While looking at the 1873-built Jubilee Hall, we started talking to a student who turned out to be an official campus tour guide, and she gave us a little of the history of the building. While the all-female dorm’s “courting room” is no longer used for that purpose, the residents of Jubilee Hall still do keep a curfew.


Entrance to Jubilee Hall
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

The centerpiece of Fisk’s campus is Cravath Hall, which houses a beautiful and renowned collection of permanent murals by the great artist (and Rosenwald fellow) Aaron Douglas. Today the former library is used as the university’s administration building, but we were able to walk in and view the lovely Douglas murals in the old card catalogue room.


Aaron Douglas mural above built-in card catalogue
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

All in all, a great trip to Tennessee. It was made even better when we found a great Jewish deli right behind our hotel.


Noshville, on Broadway in Nashville’s West End
Photo credit: The Ciesla Foundation, February, 2014

By Aviva Kempner and Michael Rose

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg to screen in Silver Spring, Maryland

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

The AFI Theater in Silver Spring is screening a series of baseball films in March and April, including one of the Ciesla Foundation’s previous productions, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1999). Their description is below:

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG
April 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm
AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring, MD

Tickets $5!
In person: filmmaker Aviva Kempner

This Peabody Award-winning film is a humorous and nostalgic documentary about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended religious prejudice to become an American icon. Hammerin’ Hank’s accomplishments for the Detroit Tigers during the Golden Age of Baseball rivaled those of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. America’s first Jewish baseball star was a beacon of hope to American Jews who faced bigotry during the Depression and World War II.
DIR/SCR/PROD Aviva Kempner. US, 1999, b&w and color, 95 min, 35mm. RATED PG
Co-presented by the Washington Jewish Film Festival and Women in Film & Video of Washington, DC.

Rosenwald School replica to be built in Huntsville

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

A story was recently posted on AL.com about a Huntsville, Alabama museum’s plans to build a replica of a Rosenwald School according to original Rosenwald School plans. According to architect Greg Kamback, the four-room schoolhouse would “replicate the look of [a Rosenwald School] as much as possible on the inside and outside.” During the building process, Burritt on the Mountain museum solicited input from community members who had attended Rosenwald Schools in the area. When completed, the building would become a place for visitors to learn about the history of African American education in Alabama.

Back in September, we heard about another effort to rebuilt a Rosenwald School in Alabama. A group of students in Phenix City, Alabama, planned to rebuild a Rosenwald School in their town. Unfortunately, they contacted us a couple months later and indicated that their project had been put on hold indefinitely due to lack of funding.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see that, along with the numerous Rosenwald School restorations in progress, people are also attempting to rebuild examples of this vital piece of American history. For decades, many Rosenwald Schools suffered from neglect, and indeed thousands of them have been demolished since the end of the program in the 1930s. Perhaps public interest and engagement has turned a corner and many of the remaining Rosenwald Schools will be preserved.

Newly renovated museum of Civil Rights reopens in Memphis

Posted April 21st, 2014 by

I read in The New York Times about the recent renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. The museum, which is at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, commemorates the long pathway to Civil Rights for African Americans.

Among its many exhibits is one on Charles Hamilton Houston, a Civil Rights lawyer who we’ve written about on this blog. In order to mount his argument that separate education facilities were not equal in the Jim Crow South, Houston shot a good deal of 16mm footage of the conditions in the South during the 1930s, which is today stored in the National Archives in the Harmon Foundation Collection. Since Houston filmed several of the Rosenwald Schools, we plan to use some of this footage in our upcoming documentary on Julius Rosenwald’s life.

You can read more on the museum’s website. Prominently displayed there is a powerful quote by Houston:

“Maybe the next generation will be able to take time out to rest, but we have too far to go and too much work to do.”


Charles Hamilton Houston with Mary McLeod Bethune, from the outtakes of A Study in Educational Inequalities in South Carolina
Film still credit: National Archives, College Park, Harmon Foundation Collection, 200 HF 265×3

Portrait of Maya Angelou unveiled at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Posted April 11th, 2014 by

Last weekend, Maya Angelou was on hand for the unveiling of her portrait in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. The image of the poet and author was created by Ross Rossin and donated to the gallery by former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, according to The Washington Post.

Angelou attended a Rosenwald School in Stamps, Arkansas. She described her experience growing up under segregation for the 1993 documentary The Great Depression. Although she said her school (the Lafayette County Training School) was “grand,” she remembered the hand me down books her school got from the white school in town, and how the students were expected to make repairs to the bindings. One of Angelou’s teachers saw her potential and was able to get her some new books:

I had never seen a new book until Mrs. Flowers brought books from the white school for me to read. The slick pages, I couldn’t believe it, and that’s when I think my first anger, real anger at the depressive and the oppressive system began.

We plan to incorporate parts of this interview in The Rosenwald Schools documentary.

Short film about Dr. E.B. Henderson, founding father of basketball

Posted April 1st, 2014 by

Edwin B. Henderson II, who we interviewed last week, shared a link to a short video made about his and his wife Nikki’s quest to establish the legacy of his grandfather Dr. E.B. Henderson, a historic basketball pioneer in Washington D.C.

After Mr. Henderson came across a box of papers, letters and photographs belonging to his grandfather, he began advocating for Dr. Henderson to be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. Finally, in 2013, that goal was achieved due to Edwin and Nikki’s hard work. Dr. E.B. Henderson’s home in Falls Church, Virginia has also been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

GVI of Washington D.C. has put together a lovely short feature on the Hendersons. You can watch the video here.

Poem inspired by the Rosenwald Museum in Chicago

Posted April 1st, 2014 by

Inspired by his son’s love for the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Julius Rosenwald founded the Museum of Science and Industry for “every young growing mind in Chicago” (Tribune, Apr 17, 1926). Years later, Rosenwald’s vision for an interactive, awe-inspiring experience has been cemented as an icon of the Chicago cultural landscape and continues to be a must-see attraction for natives and visitors alike. In her poem, “Doll’s House,” Chicagoan Donna Katzin fondly remembers visits to the Museum of Science and Industry with her father. Like for many young girls, Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle captured her imagination and created a lasting impression.


A room from Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle
Photo credit: kthypryn (flickr)

Doll’s House

Every Sunday we visit the museum.
My father takes my hand, leads me
to the miniature glass mansion
of pinpoint lights embroidered on midnight
like winking opals on taffeta.

He never breaks the spell,
as if fine filaments strung through the rooms
might shatter with a word,
wears the smiling mask
I never lift or question.

We hold our breaths,
do not risk a whisper
that might snuff out the magic,
condemn us to the darkness
of duties and debts.

I tiptoe through the corridors,
sit on matchbox thrones, ascend spiral stairs,
waltz in the vaulted ballroom to imagined melodies —
a princess in a palace
abandoned by the king.

These years later, his wrinkled hand is gone
with letters of his pen, notes of his violin.
Now he is the museum. I am still
the one on the outside
watching.

Donna Katzin
January 31, 2014
New York City