Thursday, March 17, 2016

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

After a Snow

Used to be after a snow
our doorbell would ring
and we’d find boys
with shovels in hand 
looking to make some money.
Because of the snow 
there would be no school.
The boys would be happy.

But in the last two years
after a snow it’s been men
more than boys
ringing our bell
with shovels in hand
looking to make some money.

Some are blue-collar workers.
Others once wore suits and ties.
Most of them are broken men 
long out of work and willing 
to shovel for anything 
to buy something
their families need.

A Matter of Beans

It’s a matter of beans,
says Rosie, 79, legally blind, 
her fingers dancing across 
Bible in braille, when a
reporter asks her about 

politicians who haven't passed 
a budget and Meals on Wheels has
has been suspended so Rosie 
no longer gets one hot meal a day 
delivered by a volunteer who chats 
before driving off to serve another

worse off than I am, says Rosie.
It’s a matter of beans, she says
dried beans I keep in a drawer
and cook up in a pot and will eat
today, tomorrow and the next day 

with hot sauce if I have some.
Then I'll cook up another pot
and make them stretch, she says, 
until they pass that budget. 
They always do, she says. 
They want to go on vacation.

An Unofficial Poll

Every time we have a big election
in America, my wife of many years
asks me if I’m going to vote 
in the primary although she knows
I never do because one has to declare
one’s party, something I don’t do.

My wife always votes in the primary
and wants to know which party I favor,
a secret I’ve managed to keep hidden
all these years which is probably 
why I’m still married.

When I tell her no primary vote for me, 
she takes the next step and asks if 
I were going to vote in her primary, 
which of the two candidates this year
would I vote for. 

I realize she wants to know if I’d vote
for the waddling duck or the old roadrunner.
So I buy some time and tell her I’ll have to think
about it and I’ll give her my answer after dinner
because I like dinner and she’s a good cook.
After dessert I say if I were going to vote in
her primary, I’d vote for the old roadrunner 
although that has nothing to do with his politics. 
I just like him better than the duck, I say. 

And my wife surprises me and says
she's voting for the roadrunner too but 
not to tell any of the neighbor ladies.
They would label her a traitor.

Donal Mahoney

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at

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