Across the Avenue

Across Mass Ave
a young girl
well dressed, stands tall
rosy with health.

Beginning at our street
it was a class border
of what the leader of the Young
Episcopals called a slum.

A mixed ethnic area

(mostly Irish, though
no lace curtain ones)

to Beacon Street and north
the Somerville 3-deckers.

The girl was one of her class
among the handsome young men
confident, of course entitled
(boarding schools, camps and colleges)
to direct Finance and State.
We didn’t think of class,
instead it was a revelation:

The kids there are different!

We were taught in the 1930s
ours was a classless country
red, white and blue.

When our neighbor reported
what the minister’s assistant said
we were all considerably shocked.

How could he say that!

Robert A. Davies is the author of Timber, Moons and Mendelssohn and Bluff Hollow. His poems have appeared recently in Counterpunch, Hollywood Progressive and Windfall. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Robert A..