Roma Pathak // ART CLASS

In West Chester, Pennsylvania

I was at art class

so I could improve my drawings.

The weather was pleasant.

A soft breeze carried

the scent of teacher’s floral tea,

filling the entire house with warmth.

Art teacher went around

to each and every one of us,

guiding our pencil strokes.

She helped me add more

shadows, and more highlights

to the pear.

Her joy and friendliness

made art more vibrant,

and even more colorful

than it ever was.

I looked at the girl next to me–

a seven year old at art class

in a bad mood.


I shook it off until I heard her

use the sharp, painful words:

“You just care about the money.”

About five minutes later,

her parents walked in

with disappointment in their eyes.

But at the time,

what they were saying was

white noise to me.

I was too focused on the pear–

the shiny, wonderful, green



I admired teacher’s steady hand,

and I wondered:

No matter how hard I try–

Why doesn’t my pear look

as realistic,

as detailed,

or as colorful as art teacher’s?


How strange.

I couldn’t make sense

of this feeling,

this realization. The fact

that the girl

right next to me looked

At the pear on the table,

And saw something different.

The girl next to me had unique experiences

from her own environment.

So, she saw things differently.


Before, the pear I drew before me

was just a bright green mass.

Now, I could see the different colors,

and the different shadows

that made it look real.


Art teacher’s house was beautiful

and lively. The warmth in the air

was just right to me,

but burnt others fingertips.


After leaving art class,

I was energized.

The spring air

in West Chester, Pennsylvania

was felt by me.