by Susan Mahan

Blue skies
Swimming in Pleasure Bay
Roller skating
Playing marbles
Sunday band concerts in Big Park
Sledding down The Devil’s Run
Walks out Castle Island
Ice cream cones from Kelley’s Landing

My days in South Boston were La Belle Époque

My mother’s death in 1965 was World War I

PHOTO: “Dorchester Monument” (South Boston, Massachusetts) by Gordon Boozer. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was a history major in college in my thirties, and when we studied the origins of World War I, my professor used the contrasting ideas of before the war (La Belle Époch) when life seemed really good, and how the war changed people’s view of the world. I immediately thought of the time before . . . and after my mother died.

Sledding at Aquarium Hill

IMAGE: “Aquarium Hill” (sledding hill off Farragut Road, South Boston) watercolor on paper by Dan McCole, reprinted by permission of the artist.  A copy of this painting hangs in the author’s home as a reminder of the good days.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Mahan has been writing poetry since her husband died in 1997. A frequent reader at poetry venues, including the Boston Public Library, she has self-published four chapbooks, including Missing Mum (2005) and World View (2009). In 2002, she joined the editorial staff of The South Boston Literary Gazette. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies — including Kiss Me Goodnight, Solace in So Many Words, and Living Lessons — as well as in several online journals.  For the past three years, her poems have appeared in poetry exhibits at Boston City Hall.