You drive down
the same country road
every day at dawn
and see through
plumes of dust
this tall thin woman
straight as a scarecrow
in front of a field of corn
holding a hoe like a flag
tugging at a straw hat
and staring at the corn
till she goes in the house
and sits at the table
looks through the window
past ancient curtains
and prays for the deluge
she and Elmer will need
for the slightest harvest
Singles Dance at the Union Hall
A skirt too tight on Carol Ann
summoned forth a handsome man
who said he had a foolproof plan
to help her get that skirt off
once the dance was over but
she'd have to take him home.
He couldn't help her now
and interrupt the band.
Carol Ann had often heard
better lines from men and so
she told him she had criteria
to qualify a man who sought
to verify her assets.
First, he had to be a gentleman,
obtain the blessing of her father,
and flash a rock with many facets.
Only then might such a man
have a chance to say "I do."
The nice thing about being dead
is you no longer care if the doctor
mucked up your diagnosis and the
pharmacist gave you the wrong pills.
You're cozy now in a comfy casket
six feet below all the carnage
in the world, without a worry, when
a mastodon tsunami rolls over your
peaceful cemetery and uproots
thousands of caskets, tossing them
high in the sky and forcing you
and all the other zombies to float.
You discover no port will take
You have no papers, after all;
you can't prove who you were or are
so you and the other zombies float
for God knows how long since
God may not believe in zombies.
This is a rupture not a rapture.
And while you float, your lawyer
meets with your relatives who
no longer weep about your passing.
They smile as he reads your will.
They plan on taking a family cruise
with the proceeds from your estate.
They'll dine on lobster and steak,
lay waste continuous buffets while
you and the other zombies float
further out, unable to find a port
where citizens will bury the likes of you.
Property values will drop, they shout.
They can't drop their signs and let you in.
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.