BROOK ST.,  BROOKLINE

When we moved in, they
moved out.
Only neighborhood lore
      remained.

1915...King, Cameron, Sullivan, Kelley                            
Chauffeur, conductor, carpenter, machinist...


"There were gangs on Brook St.,
        big gangs of kids. It was
a rough place," our neighbor
      said.
               
1928...Schnell, Rugerro, Mahoney, McKenna, McGuire
Barber, salesgirl, stenographer, laborer, janitor...


When the Depression came.
they beat an orderly retreat,
       homes turned lodginghouses.
They never surrendered.
                             
1934...Dolan, McPhereson, Whelan, Towel, Brenn
  Bookkeeper, bellboy, plasterer, cook, waitress...


Like an invading army,
little Shermans through Georgia,
        we gave no quarter.
"War changes the landscape."

We fought them block-by-block,
house-by-house. The artillery
of our checking accounts pounded by day,
the bombs of our parents' loans
       exploded by night.
                             
1985...Peabody, Brown, Sternfield, Schechter, Rogers
Computer engineer, doctor, lawyer, teacher...


The gangs are gone.
On Halloween, well-scrubbed kids
in scary masks, play polite
pranks, make us laugh.
Our cars are safe.

1985


All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter
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