Thursday, June 4, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

It’s Not for the Usher to Ask

Many churches today 
have a food pantry that never
had a pantry before.

I attend a church like that.
Some folks are well-fixed, 
others poor, most betwixt.

Some had money before
but not enough now to pay 
the mortgage and then buy food

so the pantry helps them
the same way it helps clients
it has helped for years.

Some folks in the pews quietly
support the pantry with 
checks and canned goods

enabling the nouveau poor
to stand in line with the 
forever poor on Mondays. 

A neighborhood baker slips 
into the church Sunday mornings
just prior to the end of service

and quietly stacks his trays
of unsold bread in the dark foyer. 
He says nothing and disappears.

No one seems to know
who he is but the hungry
love his bread and word

of its excellence has reached
the woman who leaves church early
and always grabs two loaves

of French baguettes and is
out in the parking lot long
before anyone else and

drives off in a red Mercedes.
Perhaps she’s on unemployment, 
low on food stamps or is still

making payments on the car.
It’s not for the usher to ask.
I simply hold the door. 

Show or Tell

Some poets show.
Others tell.
Poets who show

use metaphor, simile,
rhythm and stories
to paint a picture

readers can see
then decide for themselves. 
Poets who tell 

are linear folk who
mean well but yell
so readers won’t miss

the cure for society’s problems.
Their straight lines are neon 
so readers won’t have to think

Infrastructure Swallows a City

It was an ancient city.
All the young people left
as soon as they could

but the old remained
in their mortgaged huts
surrounded by evergreens 

that offered a haven 
for cardinals and jays,
robins and finches.

No matter the season 
birds flew from tree limbs 
to feed on seed and suet 

put out by too many widows 
in slippers and aprons and 
too few wives wearing   

rouge and lipstick 
for terminal husbands they 
planned to stack on pyres. 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

No comments:

Post a Comment