To Housman they were Shropshire lads,

To me they’re Rockland boys

Who possess a certain quality

of dignity and poise

 

“The Rockland boys” I’d say aloud

As David would recall

An anecdote about a friend

I felt I knew them all

 

Stories of so many boys

Gone before they grew

Family tales of Freddy

Of Buddy, and of Blue

 

Tales of Rockland youth and lore

Pool halls and baseball games

Tales of local men at war

And all the athletes’ names

 

Tales of Oskie Johnson

Pool shark “extraordinaire”

Tales of the poet Leo

Penning his despair

 

Tales of Gus and Paul were told

With loss that one could see

Because you really loved them

They were alive for me

 

David’s gone and Gus and Paul

And others that we knew

We keep them always in our hearts

It’s an honor that we do

 

Like Housman, my heart is laden too

For all the Rockland boys

But we tell their tales; we always will

Their sorrows and their joys

 

“The Rockland boys!” I’d say

Referring to you all

Chuck and Ed and Bobby

When one of you would call

 

There’s a quality about you

One you all possess

It’s an attitude for living

A Rockland thing, I guess

 

Carol Altshuler, a native of Massachusetts, married David Altshuler, a native of Rockland, who grew up on Union Street and who once taught at the old Rockland High School. David passed away in 2005, and eventually Altshuler married his lifelong friend Edward Mosher II, also a Rockland native, following the death of his wife. The two continue the tradition of vacationing each year in Rockland and plan to spend five weeks in Spruce Head this summer.

The Courier-Gazette will feature quality poems of local authors in Open Mic. If you would like to submit a poem, please email it to News Editor Dan Dunkle at ddunkle@courierpublicationsllc.com or mail it to 91 Camden Street, Suite 403, Rockland, ME  04841. Please be sure to include your name, address, daytime phone number and a little information about the poet. No profanity or explicit material, please. 500 words or fewer preferred.