SONNET SELFIE ON TURNING 71
(I was born September 14, 1949 in Elmira, New York)
I haven’t celebrated my birthday much since I turned old enough
to vote and drink, which was 18 in New York State at the time.
I told my students to honor their mothers on their own birthday.
Mothers did all the work and carried them inside for nine months.
Here is an abcedarian sonnet of what I’ve become at 71, Enjoy:
AT 71 my ass is dragging, my BODY sagging
my CHIN doubled, my DOCTORS troubled
ENERGETIC yawns, FUDGING almost gone
GIRTH increased, HEAD in relative peace
ITCHING for scotch, JERKING my crotch
KEEPING my cool, LAUGHING at drool
MINDING my guts, just a little bit NUTS
OPENING my eyes to the PRESIDENT’S lies
QUIET sometimes, REALITY bell chimes
STUPID am and does, TALK about what was
USED to me by now, VARIETIES of chow
WEDDED twice, X’s sometimes not so nice
YOUNG at heart I brag, my ZIG lost its ZAG
At 71 that’s me A to Z, Pepe Joe Connolly.
AT 15 N LATITUDE, 145 E LONGITUDE
I’m longing for Tinian while on the mainland
laughing about ‘Buenas zapatos’ Hello shoes!
Covid 19 prevents traveling there as planned
gives me ‘Missing Marpo Valley Boy Blues’
masarap smells of lechon babui on the spit
raindrops on banana leaves lull me to sleep
tears of pain remember typhoons that hit
starlit nights and moonshine on ocean deep
damage to homes and crops a crying shame
Chamorro baila yan dandan bring great joy
Kunados Eddie SN Borja yan Henry H. boy
si yuus ma’ase Tinian for all that you share
in my heart and soul I’ll always be there.
Joey ‘Pepe Batbon’ Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Joey “Pepe Batbon” Connolly is a retired teacher and has been named a poet laureate of Tinian. He has taught English in CNMI public schools for the past 30 years. He has also taught in Alaska, New Orleans, and Las Vegas.