Poets’ Corner: Lady Mayor of Pennacook Park


On the warm summer days

And into the autumn

Mabel holds court in her chair

On her wide front porch

And rocks and rocks.

She does puzzles in pencil

And watches the people

On their way to the beach

Or home again, with chairs,

Towels, wagons with children,

Teenagers in bikinis, and

Older folk with canes or walkers.

And she rocks and rocks.

Friends call to her from

The street and stop to chat.

“Danny Boy” plays on a CD.

Children and grandchildren

And great grandchildren,

Nieces and in-laws and friends

Join her for cold drinks,

Conversation and laughter.

And she rocks and rocks

While she drinks her cocktail

(diluted with a little water)

And joins in the hilarity.

She doesn’t get around much,

But the world comes to her,

The lady mayor of Pennacook Park,

As she rocks and rocks and rocks

On her wide front porch.

Barbara Peckham, a retired teacher, has lived on Martha’s Vineyard since 2001. In 2011 she published a book of poetry, “A Jar of Summer.”