A Tailgater poem is a couplet consisting of one line from a well-known
published poem, followed by a line which the Tailgater poet contributes
to give the couplet an unexpected or comedic twist. The first of my six
Tailgaters below was published in The Washinton Post in June of 2012.
This and the others below were then published in the July/August
issue of The Waverly Window, the magazine of Waverly Heights,
the Lifecare Community in which I live, to introduce the Tailgater to
my fellow residents.


Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold
and will again, when I get paroled.

John Keats/Mary E. Moore
Runner-up, Style Invitational, Week 970,
The Washington Post, June 3, 2012


I wandered lonely as a cloud.
Felt abandoned. Missed the crowd.

William Wordsworth/Mary E. Moore


Glory be to God for dappled things,
(The salesman for detergent sings.)

Gerard Manley Hopkins/Mary E. Moore


Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
a dozen paparazzi chased him down.

Edwin Arlington Robinson/Mary E. Moore


Jennie kissed me when we met.
Her nose was running. The kiss was wet.

Leigh Hunt/Mary E. Moore


Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
I know that worms played major roles.

Robert Herrick/Mary E. Moore



The Tailgaters which follow were prize winners in a contest I conducted,
in July and August of 2012 for Waverly Heights residents. These first
appeared in the September issue of The Wavery Window and are
published here with the authors’ permission.



Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
FTD will make you pay!

Robert Herrick/Sonie Zebrowitz



I weep for Adonais— he is dead!
So glad it isn’t me instead.

Percy Bysshe Shelley/Bernice Hunt


Grow old along with me,
I’ll share my knee-pain remedy.

Robert Browning/Bernice Hunt



No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
July has taken the starch out of me.

Robert Southey/Jean Kellogg


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
have his rose-colored glasses on?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge/Sonie Zebrowitz


Because I could not stop for Death,
I ran the light. My final breath.

Emily Dickinson/Morton Hunt


Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed.
(Or we could have some Veuve Clicquot instead. . . .)

William Shakespeare/Wiltrud Goldschmidt


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Um. . . it’s one of my forgetful days.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning/ Morton Hunt


The world is too much with us, late and soon,
let’s hop a space ship to the moon.

William Wordsworth/Bernice Hunt



Because the Waverly Window readers enjoyed The Tailgaters so much,
the contest was repeated and the best entries published in the November
issue. These are reprinted below. To appreciate the significance of the
winning entry to the Waverly Heights community, one needs to know
that a resident named William Gates, on behalf of his family, recently
presented the community with a beautiful theatre.



’Ave you seen Bill’s mug in the Noos today?
For the Bates Family Theater – Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Robert Service/Sonie Zebrowitz



When I have fears that I may cease to be,
I run right out and do tai-chi.

John Keats/Betty Austin


A fat man sat in an orchestra stall and his cheeks were wet with tears.
Was it the off-key soprano’s voice or one too many beers?

Robert Service/Sonie Zebrowitz


Under a spreading chestnut tree,
the birds dropped pellets white on me.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow/Gil Stein


Good people all, of every sort
are TV glued by vicious sport.

Oliver Goldsmith/Jean Kellogg


My glass shall not persuade me that I am old.
A crinkly smile is pleasant to behold.

William Shakespeare/Wiltrud Goldschmidt


Had we but world enough and time,
I might compose a tailgate rhyme!

Andew Marvell/Rilice Lefton