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On 2013 we’ll close the book (right after taking one last look)

Happy New Year, one and all,

Short and plumpish, lean and tall,

Lactose squeamish, gluten-free,

Paleo, vegan . . . sans souci.

Our diets reflect the times, it seems

More tributaries than mainstreams.

As we review the year just passed,

Let’s see how deep “Live Free” is cast.

If who we are is what we eat,

It seems our hearts have skipped a beat.

For Common Core in education

Continues to cause consternation.

And BearCats too . . . those Trojan Horses

Stirred pros and cons to show their forces.

A Line in the Granite caused mayhem in June,

State House Plaza the setting for New Hampshire’s “High Noon.”

Yes, talk about reveling in serious unrest,

The Second Amendment’s a true litmus test.

Somehow it seems weird the police would endorse

A gun raffle promoting uncivil discourse.

True, most disputes were not so shrill

Though even CATCH caught quite a chill

When a tenant’s A/C impinged outside space

While hanging out at Menino Place.

And Trevor’s Toybox proved no fun at all,

Forget shades of gray when the judge made that call.

In downtown Concord, tires were slashed;

Kevin Guay got busted for dumping his trash;

Some parked cars were sprayed with foam;

A racist’s graffiti desecrated a home.

And an Abbott Road pigsty caused quite a stink,

While folks round the region were not tickled pink

With a chicken farmer who tried to expand,

Or a Christmas tree grower whose plans for his land

Were a tad too grand for his Henniker neighbors

Who wanted some peace when at rest from their labors.

Gary Long faced a challenge with Northern Pass;

While wind farms in Antrim ran out of gas.

Not so at the State House where the blunders persist,

So Reps. Tremblay and Hansen got a slap on the wrist.

There were drones to discuss; truth be told, the debate

droned on infinitum . . . so no answers to date.

In Wilmot, a woman raised her roof beam too high;

In Weare, a gun dealer did not pacify

His neighbors; indeed, they became quite aghast,

Explaining they wished he were not such a blast.

What else? Surely somewhere tranquility throbbed;

Things are bad when a day spa . . . Serendipity . . . gets robbed.

But home sales rose; so did Jeff Rose to DRED,

And night NASCAR races might go full speed ahead.

Bishop Brady turned 50; Mike Green retired;

Bishop Robinson also . . . what else has transpired?

Gordon Humphrey praised Snowden; Sharon Olds was praised too;

Billy Collins came calling to a full retinue.

In Concord, Ms. Kumin was read far and wide.

In New Hampshire, you betcha, we’ve got poetry pride.

We’ve got Open Air Shakespeare; we’ve got Gibson’s new digs,

With a True Brew Barista and kids’ thingamajigs.

Have I mentioned we also have yogurt galore?

And who knew we had yo-yos? Now they’ve got their own store.

But we didn’t raise the gas tax, so highways are hurtin’

Though there’s open road tolling in Hooksett, for certain.

There’s a bus to the airport, at least part of the time.

Change comes slowly but surely; we continue our climb.

And speaking of which, some climbers got lost

While the poor Fish and Game had to cover the cost,

Which it cannot continue, so there may be a fee

When hikers are heedless; surely not you or me.

For a recycled cycle, you can head to Goodwill;

For a tattoo or piercing, Buzz Ink has the skill.

If you’re after a comic, Double Midnight’s your source;

N.E.C.’s new Main Street branch, a new place for a course.

Tara Mounsey returned to her high school to speak

Lilise boasts both resale and a prison boutique.

At the downtown Health Center, there is Yoga for Tots

By the way, how about those world champion Red Sox!

But speaking of champions, this past year was hard

Warren, Ray, Leo…we lost the old guard.

Fred Upton, Doug Theuner, Louie S, Judy French…

No matter their gender, they all answered to “Mensch.”

There were others as well…Doug Maynard, Jim Stone,

And that perfect guy, Marty, who was one of our own.

It also seems fitting to mention in mourning

The many who drowned and were gone without warning.

And how could we forget Ms. Marini, Cecile…

By grinding her axle, she became a big wheel.

What’s up, we wonder, for the year just ahead?

Will Scott Brown throw his hat in? Will our homeless be fed?

Will Sewalls Falls get a new bridge? Will the steam plant be mended?

Will Concord’s new Main Street turn out to be splendid?

Will Alex Ray’s pitstops have Common Man appeal

To make our state’s highways a bit more genteel?

Will the SPCA get its shelter completed?

Will Obamacare’s critics become less overheated?

Here’s hoping it’s so, ’cause my acid reflux

Needs some rapid relief, and this arguing sucks.

Here’s hoping, indeed, in 2014

We can all reduce bloating; thus become more serene.

(This is the 19th year that Christine Hamm of Hopkinton has marked the arrival of a new year in verse as the Monitor’s poet laureate. Maureen Van Horn of Pittsfield held the position the previous 17 years.)

Legacy Comments1

Wonderful, Ms. Hamm--as always. Thank you.

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