Saturday, May 14, 2016

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

What a Country!

In America we say
we get the government 
we deserve.

That’s been true
for the past eight years.
Barring something unforeseen

and looking at our two 
presumptive nominees,
we will again

get the government 
we deserve for four
or more years.

Yakov Smirnoff
probably said it best:
"What a country!

War Feasts Forever

A refugee from another country tells me  
people thrive on proving their beliefs 
more than understanding one another.

They will let a stereotype fall on others
like a cheap dress as long as it fits 
the image of someone they’ve created.
People are more dangerous when their rules 
are more important than their values, he says. 
Belief is like water and must be transparent

If people accept those who are different,
everyone sits down to a banquet of peace.
Otherwise war feasts forever. 

A Good Customer

I saw Al once a month
for 30 years, maybe more,
doing business together.
He retired to hunt bear 
in Alaska, hook Tarpon 
in Florida, golf in Scotland.
He had it all planned.
Nothing would stop him.

Months later I learned
doctors said he had
cancer of the blood.
The outlook was bleak.
I called Al and he said 
six months, maybe a year
of chemo. No guarantees.
But he’d beat it.

A year later Al called,
said the chemo had worked.
He was cured and was 
going on a trip fishing.
We agreed to have lunch 
when he got back.
He said he’d call me.

Al called when he got back 
but the news wasn’t good.
His blood was fine but 
doctors found a tumor, 
a big one on his brain
no way to operate, likely
malignant, more chemo. 
We agreed to have lunch later.
He’d give me a ring.

We never had lunch, of course,
but I met Al’s wife at the wake 
six months or so later.
She said Al had mentioned me
many times over the years.
She thanked me many times
for being a good customer.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and Commonweal. Some of his work can be found at

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