Monday’s Verse, Apr. 1, 2008

his is not a joke. Today I’m plugging a good cause, and reprinting a
message sent to me last month by intrepid reader Jonelle Lonergan of
Cambridge, MA:

***
Hi all,

As many of you know (because I can’t stop talking about it) I’m
training for the 2008 Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon
Challenge, raising money to fund cancer research. If history is any
indication, it’s gonna be a good time.

This is my fourth little trek from Hopkinton to Boston and once again,
I’m running in honor of my mom, Barbara. Many of you have met Barbara,
often in the context of chicken cutlets and/or eggplant parmesan.
Besides being an Italian culinary force and an all-around spectacular
mom, she’s also a breast cancer survivor — four years cancer-free.
Pretty awesome.

I’ve raised almost $15,000 for Dana-Farber over the last few years,
and I’m aiming for another $6,000 this spring. If you’re inclined to
help, e-mail me for more info, or check out
http://www.runjonellerun.com to make a donation online.

And for those of you who already kicked me a donation, thanks thanks
thanks! Barbara promises to make you cutlets.

–Jonelle
***

Jonelle is very close to her goal and the race is April 21, so if
anyone out there would like to donate there’s still time. Meanwhile,
enjoy the following tight sonnet by Timothy Murphy, in honor of all
those who take on, if not more, then as much as they can possibly
chew. I know, the poem makes no sense in this context but that’s OK.
Remember Michael O’Brien, “everything is not something else”? ~mjl

THE CHALLENGE

What polished flattery or slippery truth
tempted your marble athlete from his plinth?
Now that you’ve won so statuesque a youth,
what brazen gates safeguard this Hyacinth?
You keep no sentries posted at your doors,
no trusted eunuchs to massage your prize,
nor spies to poison your competitors
who pace the racetrack with appraising eyes.
What powder or potion, what force of arms
mustered at midnight will forestall your boy
from yielding to a younger rival’s charms?
What Troy or Partha can you destroy
make yourself his hero? And what less
would make you worthy of his loveliness?

-1998

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