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 published his first book of poems in 1955; since 1969 he has been writing seriously, but he has written up a storm in the years after his retirement from teaching and volunteer work in the community. Lately he has been focused on writing rather than doing readings or publishing in magazines off-line. He finds as much fun in writing as in walking in the woods. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Robert A..