I am no Mary Oliver clone
composing odes to herons and owls,
remembering morning mist through the alders,
spotting deer-tracks amid birches
(although I cherish her gentle voice).
I'm this triple-decker guy
who grew up in East Boston
where the smell of weed accosted you
as you walked past the Otis on Friday nights,
where teenagers who looked tough enough
to scare the Asian lady behind the counter
could buy at Meridian Liquors
without a fake ID.
The streets of Eastie were paved
with nip-bottles and scratch-tickets,
Trojan-wrappers and the odd syringe.
Anyone who pronounced his Rs,
enjoyed books, flinched at football,
was still a virgin at sixteen,
heard taunts like loozah, re-TAAH-ded,
what are ya, some kinda fuckin' quee-ah?
Arguments among grade-schoolers
always involved something about ya mutha
and ended with a gloating so slam!
(meant to slam the door
on further conversation).
Down by the tracks
on the way to the airport,
some college kid I knew
spray-painted a support-beam
of the highway that ran overhead
with the graffito Mission of Burma,
the name of his favorite band.
And someone who (I guess)
didn't share his musical allegiance
appended the rejoinder
Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas
Read 110 times
Written on 2019-08-17 at 10:15
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