Sunday, October 18, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

No COLA Raise Next Year

No question the refugees in Europe
have it bad as do the garment workers
in Bangladesh as do the migrants 

herded to America for a fee 
and dumped at night to find their way
through brush beneath the lights

the border patrol has whirling.
Millie and Tillie are ancient sisters
who live in Iowa and worry about 

those less fortunate on the news 
every night before they turn in.
The sisters never married, live on 

what they call fixed income in a
farm house Mom and Pop left them.
They worked in town for years 

at dime stores, have no pensions,
live on a little social security,
expect no COLA raise next year.

They use cash or money orders
to pay small bills, have no credit
because they never needed it

and keep their savings in a sock
to buy necessities when things get 
tough at the end of the month

But they get by with a garden  
and can their pole beans and tomatoes
and get their Pepsodent and Charmin 

from the pantry at church.
They were doing okay until last week
when the old water heater quit

and they had to call a plumber.
First time for everything, Millie said,
and now the sisters don’t know where 

they’ll get two grand to have 
the plumber take the old heater away
and special order one that will fit. 

He’s new in town and always in a hurry.
But Tillie says they have two kettles 
in the basement and the stove works 

so she’s certain they’ll get by.
After all, Mom and Pop always did even  
when a hurricane snatched the harvest.

Bullies and the Wimp

They laugh at him 
because he’s weak
by their standards
but they don’t realize

they’ve signed a 
contract with him,  
a lifetime guarantee
for recompense.

It will be fulfilled
perhaps tomorrow or 
maybe on a wedding day
or years from now at 

the funeral of a loved one 
when they’re as vulnerable 
as he appears to be  
and for the moment is

but they don’t realize
the spider in its web 
looks slow to any fly 
circling overhead.

Bugs and People

No season of the year is best
for being homeless though 
autumn warns the worst is near

and those who sleep in doorways 
want to learn their options as to where 
it might be best to spend the winter while

those who spend summer in the garden
sneak under doors and over transoms. 
Folks step on bugs indoors and bring

their winter needs for shelter to an end.
This time of year before the holidays, 
folks with roofs are toasty while 

homeless bugs and people aren’t
although it’s true that fewer bugs 
have to live outside all winter.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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