Knocking on this gate for days–
Or so it seems–without a rest,
My knuckles battered, bruised, ablaze
With blisters, yet I’ll pass this test!
Sirrah, knock me…rap me here!
I would, I said, so wood I rap.
What’s that? The shrew’s been won? Oh, dear.
I’ll never get this Shakespeare crap.

New Centurion

One hundred years ago today
When Helen’s cruise got underway;
The rest of us had yet to board.
The Roaring Twenties hadn’t roared–
In fact, when God created Helen,
Al Capone was not a felon
(Probably ’cause Prohibition
Hadn’t yet defined his mission).
Mind you, we don’t blame Alfonse on
She who graced the Family Johnson;
After all, the chromosome
She lacked would then have kept her home
On Voting Day. Her intercession
Wouldn’t stop the Great Depression;
However, ere its course had run
Her dynasty was well begun.
Every single person here
Has reason to hold Helen dear,
As even we whose arteries
Lack Helen’s blood would feel the breeze
Created by the vacuum of
An atmosphere without her love.
I’m at a loss, which won’t surprise:
I’m ill-equipped to summarize
Her life and times, since I was tardy
(Fifty years) to Helen’s party–
I’m just glad I caught the boat!
When I look back at what I wrote
Tonight, I’m sure I’ll shake my head
At everything I’ve left unsaid,
But in between these words, I’m yellin’,
Happy Birthday, Grandma Helen!

Nice To See You…Again?

A fact of life, up here near fifty:
My memory’s becoming thrifty.
Willy-nilly recollection’s
Given way to calm reflection:
Do I know this person? Well,
He seems to know me–that’s a tell!
More and more, whenever meeting
Anyone, my standard greeting
Is a chorus from the song
“How Nice To See You!” Can’t go wrong
With that, but there’s a caveat:
Always admit that you forgot
If challenged. Trust me: Tell the truth
And blame it on your fading youth.
Better far to swallow pride
Than be discovered having lied.
So, suck it up, admit you’re dense,
And that way you’ll give less offense.
A caveat to that, in turn:
Offending’s one great way to learn!