Friday, January 16, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

An Email on Sunday

Some emails 
are more difficult
to receive  
from a child 
long out of college

the daughter who writes  
her cancer is back
but the doctor says 
with chemo and surgery
things should be fine

and all the while 
the father wonders 
why she didn’t call
at midnight and let
the telephone scream 

hysterically in the night
to deliver the news 
a computer is too 
cold a messenger 
to deliver hot terror 

on Sunday morning
while machine guns
of sleet drive
bullets too bright
into the ground

Herbie Gets Emails

When Herbie gets an email 
from one of his sons, 
it's never a problem.
Usually it's about the game
one of them has tickets for

or a chance to go hunting.
But when he gets an email 
from one of his daughters,
it's different because 
her dead mother's face 

is a watermark talking
behind the message.
Dead for a decade, 
she wants to settle 
an argument  

Herbie can't remember, 
an argument neighbors 
can no longer hear. 
This time the police 
won't be coming
which makes Herbie thankful
as he tries to sound cheerful 
in his reply to his daughter 
who's still as beautiful 
as her mother back when.

Cats and Possums Pay No Taxes

Beautiful lady in the checkout lane
is spotted by Roscoe, a wealthy man 
wandering in Walmart. He admires 
her chocolate hair, bonbon eyes,
vanilla creme complexion, a walk 
a runway model would envy.

This woman Roscoe thinks  
he would marry until she turns 
a profile and he sees her nose 
is not unlike the possum snout 
he saw last night on his deck, 
a possum with a ski-slope snout 

snuffling around for cat-food cans
he puts out at night for the feral cats 
he favors because feral cats are 
entrepreneurs who pay no taxes.
Possums pay no taxes either but 
Roscoe can’t abide a ski-slope snout.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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