Monday, June 17, 2013

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Father, Again, Peering
The final years dear Mother she
was never, well, what actors call “on location.”
Physically, of course, we found her
the parlor reading,
the kitchen ironing,
the basement weeping,
unlike Father whom we never found
though he was always there. 
On Sundays when he went to Mass,
he’d stay behind, peering.
Like Queeg, he’d stare 

from under or behind
whatever he wasn't 
hiding in front of.

Father: Every Morning of His Life
The cup he took his tea from
all those years was Army surplus,
made of tin. It whirred
to the spoon he wound in it
15 times per lump of sugar.
We who slept in rooms just off
the kitchen rose like ghosts
to the winding of that spoon.
In my house, now, mornings
Sue’s the first downstairs. She
scalds the leaves and wonders:
Will the winding ever end?

A Father's Reverie
I have been sentenced to tumblers
of iced tea in an old lawn chair
for the summers that remain
in my life. But I don’t complain.
I go to bed and I lie there
for hours like a mummy.
I stare at the ceiling and finger a curl
in my sleeping wife’s hair.
How many hours do I slaughter

each evening, asking no one
why I quit drinking
the day I got married,
why I got married
the day I quit drinking.

Donal Mahoney's father had a quirk or two
and Donal Mahoney's children would
probably say that he has a quirk
or three.

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