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

you suck.

Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 110 times
Written on 2019-08-17 at 10:15

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
This feels like the tip of the iceberg. I wish there were twenty, or a hundred, more verses.

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
This could be has much about any neighborhood in post industrial
Town or city. I relley appreciated your work hear, Thomas.
Ken D

Marie Cadavieco The PoetBay support member heart!
Is there anywhere in Boston, Ma that rough? Goodness, I had it as a genteel, much posher place than Mother Boston in Lincolnshire!
There, you can see at any time of day, in the small square in front of the church, drunken men and women (sad to say, mostly Russian) drinking - vodka, you will realise, probably illegally distilled in a shed.

But it is a beautiful place really, sufficiently so that the Lincolnshire folks who went to America felt the need to recreate a version of their beloved town with its celebrated Stump, the nickname for the church tower.

Rambling, I know, but i loved this poem.