‘Twas some night after New Year’s
“Twas the start of a New Year
And on every street
People were grumbling, and staring down at their feet
Backpacks were set for the nearing school day
Not in time to prevent parents their premature gray
People knew the ball in Times Square had already dropped
Naturally all common sense was forgotten or stopped
I thought I’d be safe from all the New Year’s jazz
(Yeah, maybe if I was locked deep within Alcatraz)
When walking down Main Street just an hour ago
I ran into an old man who was walking real slow
His robe was in tatters and his head lacked much hair,
And I was helpless to do anything but stand and just stare
He noticed me watching and glared at me, then spat,
“I’m leaving already! I ask for some peace and don’t even get that!”
then, to my wondering eyes, were confirmed all my fears
The Old Year’s eyes were moist with huge tears
“I wanted to stay,” he wailed with a sob,
“But that new kid swooped in and stole my old job!”
I couldn’t help laughing aloud at his fit,
Chortling, “If I’d have been you, I would’ve quit!
This year come resolutions, come laws, and electricity bills!
Californians will live 2003 with absolutely no frills!
You’re lucky to have escaped when you did,
‘Cause life will be miserable for your poor job-stealing kid.”
His mouth twitched just slightly and at that moment I knew
He didn’t believe that all I was saying was true.
So, I sat down beside him right there on the curb
And the words just came out in this fast-moving blurb.
“I’m telling you, pops, from the depths of my heart,
You’ll be unbelievably happy the moment you part.
This year isn’t going to be very pretty or fun.
The changes are huge and of them there are a ton.”
Once again he ignored me and my words of advice.
“I’ll give you reasons to believe … three to be precise.”
I rolled my shoulders and cracked my neck
And started to speak, releasing all heck.
“It’s the start of a New Year and resolutions abound
Promise upon promise, with no feet on the ground.
Lose two hundred pounds or join the NBA
Making resolutions you know you’ll just break the next day
“California just passed one thousand new laws,
From cell phones at school to the care of your pet’s paws.
With so many new laws now on the law’s book
How can you possibly know when you’ve become a crook?
“And don’t get me started on the crisis of power
After that whole mess our state budget’s a wower!
Around 35 billion dollars is somehow just gone
Right at the start of a brand New Year’s dawn
So our state officials probably won’t pay
But our taxpayers will suffer, day after day.”
The Old Year was obviously in shock
He jumped to his feet and looked at his clock
“Doesn’t time just fly when you’re leaving a place?”
And he ran off, forgetting his scythe in his haste
Content that he was finally gone on his way
I was utterly startled when he turned, smiling, to say,
“Don’t worry if your resolutions don’t give you so much of a thrill!”
And I started to laugh when he added, “Since the economy will!”
Meredith Blake is a Grass Valley resident and a junior at Nevada Union High School. She writes a monthly column. Write her in care of the Youth Page, The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
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