My 1970s

In the halcyon days
of Gerald Ford
and Jimmy Carter,
I trusted America.
Watergate, Jonestown,
anti-gay bible-bangers,
wars over abortion,
hadn't yet made
a deep impression.
Even the Church
into which I was born
was irenic and mellow:
guitars and peace,
felt banners and light.
My biggest troubles:
being clumsy at sports,
and at tying my shoes,
and liking confident girls
who deemed me a dweeb.
We had a neighbour,

Adeline. Not quite fifty.

Steel-grey hair.
She had a crush
on Dad. Poor Dad.
He and his friend Billy
briefly had a bar
along Revere Beach,
the Okee Fun Okee.
Mobsters forced them out.
(I learned this much later.)
Adeline's son Jimmy
taught me the Our Father,
Hail Mary, Glory Be
on a green chalkboard
in our shared basement.
I liked Cheerios,
peanut butter, ravioli,
and Mom's transistor
always on WHDH:
It's the Jess Cain show,
85 on the radio!
Paul Ashman and
Donald Bragdon would
tease me for using
words longer than
See Spot Run.
Mr Giarla had a place

on Chelsea Street
where you could buy
rare coins and (better!)
old comic books.
Mrs McQuillan called me

Little Tommy Tiddlemouse

and told me about
having danced the minuet
with George Washington.
Uncle Bobby and Aunt

Maureen got married.

Aunt Lou was opinionated.
Feisty elder sister

of my grandmother Clem,
Dad's mom, whom I never knew.
(She died eight years
before I was born.)
Uncle T, for Tony,

Aunt Lou's husband,
was smiling and quiet.
They loved Tip O'Neill,
or, as Aunt Lou called him,
Old Blubbernose.
Uncle T had war stories
of taunting German soldiers
with shouts of
Scheis in der Hose!
Scheis im Blut!
But wars and such
were worlds away
from the Bradley School
on the nice side of the hill
in Orient Heights, East Boston.

And all conflict 

in the little flat on Morris Street

was private, tucked away,

and quickly blew over,

or so it seemed, as things

like baseball and birthday cake,

burgers and the Bee Gees,

captured my fitful attention.





Poetry by Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2024-05-19 at 06:08

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D G Moody The PoetBay support member heart!
Nostalgia's not what it use to be; good poem Thomas, a lot to remind me; though, not sure about the Swiss reference why would it be such a red rag to the Germans - do they hate the Swiss that much?
2024-05-21


alarian The PoetBay support member heart!
good memories are sanctuaries ?
2024-05-20


Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
Such a nice reminiscence, and a joy to read: No dark shadows for the reader to inward tremble over; no impending death (though it comes to us all); no incurable disease, just good old memories from the nicer side, and no angst over young love (though I guess it happened.). Bravo, UM. Blessings, Allen
2024-05-19