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One more time, last year in rhyme

If I’m not mistaken, the calendar’s turned;

while I’ve been on vacation, the old year’s adjourned.

No more teetering atop a putative cliff;

we’ve leapt into the future – put an end to, “What if?”

2-0-1-2’s so yesterday. Between you and me,

attachment is futile. Welcome in 0-1-3!

But I will acknowledge the need for review,

for words deferential, to say merci beau coup

for a number of blessings the past year has wrought:

a new Friendly Kitchen, a downtown jazz spot,

a grant from the feds for a first-class Main Street,

a local biz “Cash Mob,” assembled by Tweet.

Laughter yoga made lunchtime in Concord more fun;

“Bedtime Stories” at Rollins were another home run;

Guor Marial’s Olympic race made us proud;

Souter-Warner was sold out – how Supremely highbrowed.

The Bridges House rehab was a sparkling success,

and O’Brien’s downfall a grievance redressed.

True Brew Barista has added a stage,

while the Windmill’s Thanksgiving made the front page.

More shoppers from Canada bopped over our borders;

a business in Chester made house calls on hoarders;

there’s a new lease on life for Maplewood Farm,

and the city’s bond rating caused no need for alarm.

But alarm wasn’t absent entirely, it’s true;

for starters, consider the “Sieg Heil” to-do.

Who can say that words don’t matter, I wonder,

when these detonated international thunder?

And the mustache Mike Marland inked in retort

once again proved its bearer a rancorous sort.

Bettencourt – another uproar you’ll recall.

(The higher they rise, the harder they fall.)

In this case, the more D.J. talked, the more tangled

the web that he wove. Hmmm, we learned how he wangled

UNH and Rep. Guida, both law school and guide;

’cause he didn’t show up, D. J. lost his free ride.

And his faux law degree, which he claimed in advance,

was gone with the wind, a bad circumstance.

Yes, actions have consequences, so we’ve been told;

the same with elections. Now we’ve rung out the old

and rung in the new, a femme velvet machine:

Shea-Porter and Kuster, Ayotte and Shaheen.

And let’s not forget Hassan, successor to Lynch,

a good woman to know; don’t expect her to flinch.

Despite a tight budget, she’ll somehow survive,

keeping most people happy, most programs alive.

True, Boscawen’s post office wasn’t so lucky,

and CCA’s “Fight Night” became a bit mucky,

and LGC’s policies were questioned intently,

and PSNH raised rates – they say, so gently.

Northern Pass kept on trying to push its agenda

while the forestry folks said they want to defend a

landscape unsullied by towers and lines.

The plot thickens. Stay tuned, and watch the headlines.

Mitt Romney came often, ever handsome and buff;

Such a regular guy, he bought hardware and stuff.

Once G.O.P. nominee, he arrived with Paul Ryan;

Though the ultimate loser, who can blame Mitt for tryin’?

Obama and Clinton drew one heck of a crowd;

Two days later, the voters confirmed they were wowed.

Now the liberty-minded say they want to secede.

No argument here; on that, we’re agreed.

In Hillsboro, “nurse-ins” gained lots of attention

while retirees all over fought hard for their pension.

Shark sightings made tourists quite a bit apprehensive,

and “pink slime” in school food was declared way offensive.

From Dartmouth, Jim Yong Kim moved to head the World Bank,

while Seth Cohn had his head sheared, a bald State House prank.

Gay marriage proved steady; more folks found it fair.

A woman in Grafton was beat up by a bear.

Jim Bassett was picked for the state Supreme Court.

World War II airplanes sortied at the airport.

Some earthquakes, though small, made some folks some shaky,

while a mental health rights suit made others headachy,

The hepatitis-C case, a scandal unending;

the women’s prison lawsuit, a challenge impending.

There were auctions – Al Capones’s gun, and Bonnie and Clyde’s,

and the Red Baron’s plane – all had sure bona fides.

Some stuff from The Balsams went under the gavel,

as the deal for its purchase began to unravel.

Mertie Potter, a nurse, wrote a prize-winning book.

David Darman returned as a short-order cook.

In Dunbarton, daffodils raised their bright faces.

In Epsom, Soltani hit the brakes with car chases.

In Tooky, a snake was charmed from a car,

And a pumpkin in Boscawen won a gold star.

A dam bill damned Mass. for not paying its share

of our state’s flood control, which made towns cry, “No fair!”

Teen pot use was found to lower IQs;

outside dollars fueled local campaigns. Is that news?

Microbursts, without warning, left debris in their path,

as did Sandy’s sojourn, with its sad aftermath.

Yes, sadness was present too often last year

with the passing of many we love and revere:

Warren Rudman, John Durkin, Kay Sidway, Rick Schaefer,

Forrest McKerley, John Grappone are others we pray for –

Leon Kennison, Tom Watman and Gabby Daneault,

Bunny Sayce, Gene Slusser – thanks to all, we bestow.

So, the past year’s now passed; there’s not much we can do

but ring out the false and ring in the true.

We must soldier on, despite Twinkies’ demise,

with our feet on the ground and our eyes to the skies.

With our guts in our throats and our tongues in our cheeks,

we can make it somehow through these 52 weeks.

With our hearts in the right place and our minds ever clear,

now’s the time to exult in the upcoming year!

(This is the 18th year that Christine Hamm of Hopkinton has marked the arrival of a new year in verse.)

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