Friday, December 19, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Veterans Cemetery

Families come
on Memorial Day
depending on the weather;
otherwise the Fourth of July, 
if it’s not too hot.

You can hear them coming,
adults in the rear,
reminiscing and talking,
children who can read
announcing the names
on the stones until they 
discover the right one. 
Then they shout.

Adults bring flowers, 
placing them softly
in front of the stones 
near our heads.
Children stick little 
flags from parades
in our waistlines.

Some ladies bring towels
and wipe down the stones;
others towelettes to remove
gunk from the lettering. 

All mean well and we 
appreciate the visit and wish 
we could say something.
It’s a thrill to hear voices.
Otherwise it's lawn mowers,
leaf blowers, snow plows 
the rest of the year.

Chicken and Noodles

During a long marriage
Wally told Millie 
over and over
time after time
chicken and noodles
never again.

He also told Millie
chicken and dumplings
were welcome
twice a week but 
chicken and noodles
never again.

No one knows why
Millie kept making
chicken and noodles
over and over
time after time.
She’s single again.

Ambulance Lights

Willie McKee works 
second shift
gets home at midnight
makes hot cocoa 
flops in his recliner

and counts the stars
through the blinds
nods to the moon
and every week or so 
sees ambulance lights 
pull up at Tom’s house
blink for an hour 
while the crew goes in
and restarts him.

But on Christmas Eve 
the ambulance lights
pull away in minutes
and a hearse pulls up
two men go in

bring out the gurney
as old Tom's wife 
stands on the porch
and smokes
and Willie McKee
tells his wife 
neighbors will never
hear Mabel curse
old Tom again.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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