On the eve of the Iowa caucuses and with political ads in heavy rotation on Boston TV stations in advance of the New Hampshire primary, here’s a poem with a bit of politics in it from the vault that goes back to 1988. I rarely use rhyme in compositions, but this one uses end rhyme in various ways. When I was in elementary school at St. Therese’s on Lakeview Ave. in Dracut, there was a donut shop across the street from the church called Laura’s Donuts (it later moved farther down Lakeview). One clever kid nicknamed it St. Laura’s because it was a favorite location for those bold enough to skip the required Catholic Mass called “Crusader Mass” on Wednesday mornings.—PM
Greg, hurt and off work,
drinks coffee with his Patrick;
there’s a horseshoe of old guys
dripping toast in sunny-sides;
a waitress on a cigarette break
says the Orioles have won 18 straight.
Man across the counter tells his buddy:
“Dukakis has to pick a Southerner, believe me.
He’ll take the George Senator, Nunn,
or the guy from Texas, they’re logical ones.”
His friend agrees, “The Duke has it wrapped,”
folds his paper, picks up his hat.
When Laura’s was near St. Therese’s,
and I was in blue uniform being redeemed,
some of us from the early bus
would run to “St. Laura’s” for donuts
before nuns could march us two-by-two to Mass—
that was every Wednesday morning in the past.
—Paul Marion (c) 1989, 2016