Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My 2015 Christmas Poem - Local Style

GOUVEIA: Holiday tidings

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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2015 9:35 pm | Updated: 12:59 pm, Mon Dec 21, 2015.
As we head into the Christmas holiday, it is always nice to look back and extend the fellowship of the season to those who made the past year such a joy.
Or in my case, to some of the very nice people who helped keep me in column material.
My meager contribution to our local Christmas traditions is my own special version of the great poem “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” by the late Clement Moore.
It is my way of thanking the dedicated and devoted public servants who give of their time and energy to make our local governments work. Having been in their place, I understand how difficult it is to work in the public eye. Especially when you have columnists and commentators scrutinizing everything you do. But hey — that’s my job.
So with apologies to the original author, I do hereby submit for your reading pain or pleasure my version of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”
’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the towns,
Officials were happy, and were wearing no frowns.
In Attleboro, the councilors were not there to linger,
And not one was extending a mean middle finger.
The taxpayers were settled all snug in their beds,
While nightmares of tax increases danced in their heads.
Your intrepid local columnist was working the keys,
Believing his new piece would be sure to please.

Then from outside came a noise, oh so loud,
I thought it might be an Xfinity Center crowd.
I dashed to the window, and then to the door,
What I saw nearly made me fall to the floor.

The moonlight was reflecting off the bare ground below,
(With this global warming, we hadn’t had snow.)
Then suddenly it appeared – I knew it was them.
It was a sleigh carrying North Attleboro’s full RTM.

They were all bundled up in their good winter coats,
Making sure their townspeople cast no binding votes.
They had gifts for officials from every city and village,
But none for the columnist – him they wanted to pillage.

For their own selectmen, they had special gifts,
All designed to heal any long-simmering rifts.
They were hoping to deliver a brand new turf field,
But must first get selectmen and taxpayers to yield.

For Plainville they dropped off some really nice sweaters
To keep warm all the Plainridge high rollers and bettors.
The Racino has not met those state revenue projections,
Which could cause some problems at future elections.

In Norton, they knew what to give that would work -
That town is in need of a brand new town clerk.
The Planning Board got plans for a new donut shop
With another new drive-thru they can unfairly stop.

For Mansfield selectmen, more than a just a smidgeon,
They get calendars so elections won’t offend a religion.
Also, new regulations to keep kids clear of smoke,
Then selectmen can stop treating the health board like a joke.

For Foxboro selectmen, they brought a whole lot –
Including a big bag of medical pot.
It’s hard to pick presents and try to be fair
To a board that has problems just picking its Chair.

Rehoboth was the next stop on their Christmas Eve dash,
To the town, from the cable guy, they returned all that cash.
They gave Attleboro a win on Turkey Day, which was great,
And their gift to Bishop Feehan – they can open that gate.

In Seekonk, selectmen got a big pile of coal
For not making cemeteries a priority goal.
The Town Administrator got a gift complete with conditions –
He keeps it if he stops applying for other positions.

They looked at me like I was some kind of martyr,
Or even worse – like I was holding a Charter.
They caucused, debated, and then took a vote
To ignore every column that I ever wrote.

They finished their business and emptied their sleigh,
Shook their heads one more time, and then flew away.
I heard them exclaim as they looked back with a stare -
“There’s no way we’re ever letting them vote on a Mayor!”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, good readers.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist, town official, husband, parent, grandfather, and terrible poet. He wishes you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and can be reached at aninsidelook@aol.com and at @billinsidelook.

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