Bob Sharkey is the editor of the annual Stephen A DiBiase Poetry Contest. He’s a long-term board member of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild where he is now the membership person. Surface at Sunrise, his second chapbook, is currently available. Although his poems have been published in many journals, he prefers the immediate feedback from open mics and from opportunities to read as a feature. He started his writing career at St. Patrick’s grammar school in Portland Maine.
Smoke from pipes and cigars
blends into the fog drifting up from the harbor.
Shawled women walk up the cobblestones to catch the trolley
to work in the mansions or to shop on Congress Street.
Men talk about struggling to load freight onto railroad cars.
Everyone is young. They speak Irish among themselves.
They are small green shoots in a strange land.
Salty air is cut by aromas of baking bread, of boiling fish chowder.
A horse drawing a peddler’s cart clop clops on the cobbles.
The fog dissipates as the morning sun warms.
Young women bend over laptops in a coffee shop.
A couple of tall men commiserate over post production issues.
Delivery truck idles in front of the locovore restaurant.
Some homes have Halloween decorations out front.
A brightly colored playground underscores the base of Tate and Tyng.
The park dedicated to an Irish community organizer leads down
to the waterfront where derricks unload a container ship.
A Sudanese woman clutches at her head covering.
Slight and bent, she walks toward her domestic job in the Holiday Inn.
Last game of the season
for the five to seven year old
boys and girls running up and down the court
a lot of chuckers
little dribbling under the basket
no score kept.
At the end, each kid gets,
handed out by a coach,
a silver trophy.
Leaving, a three year old,
leading the family,
carries big brother’s trophy
in the bowl of his hands
his smile wide with the pride
of conquering the world.