Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

A Few Stops Before Going Home

There are too many nuts with guns,
Willie tells Millie at Starbucks,
as they sip their lattes.
What can be done?
Congress will never 
agree to a solution.

Willie and Millie admit 
they don’t know
what can be done
to stop the massacres
in America.

Willie, a city boy, doesn’t hunt
except for good restaurants
but he’s not opposed to hunters
as long as they eat what they kill. 
Shooting an animal for a trophy 
over the mantel makes no 
sense to Willie or Millie. 
No sport in that. 

But two nights ago two guys 
broke into Ralph’s house
down the street 
and he shot them dead 
with a pistol he bought 
and had never used.
His wife didn’t know
he had a gun in the house.

So now Willie and Millie 
sip their lattes and revisit 
the idea of buying a pistol 
and taking lessons in how 
to shoot the damn thing.
Not welcome at their age.

Willie says no pistol yet
but tells Millie it’s time 
to buy a Wolfhound.
Millie says no pistol
but wants a Mastiff instead.
Then both of them agree 
bullets kill dogs as well.

They head out to the car
to make a few stops
before going home.
What stops they’ll make 
they haven’t decided 
but they both realize
something has to be done. 

Tenement Scene, Havana, 1962

Woman in a window
brushing long hair madly
screams at a little boy

down in the street
licking an ice cream cone
some man gave him

some man she doesn’t know
not the man she’s 
brushing her hair for

who doesn't show up.
The man with the ice cream
may have to do.

Special of the Day

It’s Rocky’s Diner
but it’s Brenda’s counter,
been that way for 10 years.
Brenda has her regulars
who want the Special of the Day.
They know the week is over 

when it’s perch on Friday.
Her drifters don’t care about 
the Special of the Day. 
They want Brenda instead
but she’s made it clear 
she’s not available.

Her regular customers tip well.
Long ago, they gave up
trying to see her after work.
After awhile her drifters go  
to the diner down the street 
to see if the waitress there

is any more hospitable. 
Brenda’s regulars don’t know
she has three kids her mother
watched every day until Brenda 
took a vacation out of town,
then came back and helped her 

mother find a place of her own. 
Now Brenda’s back at the diner,
serving her regulars and 
discouraging her drifters,
while Marsha, her bride,
watches the kids.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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