Karen Kline, North Andover poet laureate, is calling all local poets, young and wizened, to submit their work in the “Market Basket is Back! Celebration Challenge.”Email entries to valleyofthepoets@gmail.com   All entries will be displayed online at northandover.wickedlocal.com and at AnneBradstreet.org on Dec. 19 with a choice entry from a youth and adult writer appearing in print in the North Andover Citizen.

Below are three submissions, enjoy!

GROCER WARS – John S. Lauretani of No. Andover

The Merrimack Valley community
and places well beyond
got themselves embroiled
in a family war that spawned

Support for the one called “ T “
disdain for the one called “ S “
who’s abuse of power through coercion
created an infamous mess

From Athanasios and Efrosini to
Telemachus (Mike) and brother George
the hands of time ground forward
to form the grocery forge

Pride is strong in all families
especially of those with success
but when does wealth become primary
and people become less

It’s true both sides have facts
who knows what’s behind closed doors
we see what media provides us
and just tally up the scores

We salute you “ MB “ employees
integrity won out in the end
standing with you in the pickets
sent a message for all to defend

Harvard will study the outcome
of which many were surprised
but to honest hard working people
the “right thing” was always advised

Giraffe By Karen Mitropoulis   
A  Giraffe
Sticks their
Neck out
For their
Fellow man.
Be strong,
Be courageous,
Be Inspired.
Standing tall
To support
Friends and
Loved ones
In their time 
Of need.
It is time,
Take a stand,
And believe.
A friend in need
Is a friend indeed.
Who has your back,
Be proud,
Do the right thing.
You are an inspiration,
To us all.
Full of generosity,
Honesty, loyalty,
And integrity.
An opportunity,
Victory is within ,
Our grasp.
Believe !
For it is ,
The principal ,
And the heart ,
Of the matter.
Justice will prevail,
United we stand,
We are Family,
And Market Basket Strong !

Family Reunion  By Carole Davis

My family had a reunion today.
Odd décor.
surrounded by peaches so large they are a whole meal.
Tomatoes, fresh from the ground, summer sweet,
yearning for a final sprig of basil and soft cheese.
Corn, sun yellow, wearing a silky, green cloak, dressed
for August heat.
Local eggs so perfect the bacon is cooking
before they leave the market.

We are not  blood relatives.
Love is often easier with strangers.
workers at a local market who have greeted me for decades
items requested, bags packed, dollars exchanged.
Odd beginning for a love affair,
but it happened by the thousands.

Family disputes
almost killed the magic.
Sides were taken,
the market and love won out.
In between all those shelves filled with sugar and flour
were grains of resolve, barrels of loyalty so strong,
that even the cleaver of a butcher’s knife
could not pierce.