Saturday, January 11, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Two Poems

The Deli On Granville

I lived in the attic back then,
and late those evenings I had to study
and couldn't afford to go drinking
I'd run down to the deli and buy

bagels and smoked lox.
I'd watch the lame son
wrap each item in white paper
while his father, coughing at the register,

pointed to the cans on the wall
and screamed, "Serve yourself! Serve yourself!"
I'd grab a tin of baked beans and he'd smile.
Now, years later, I return to the deli

and find that it's closed.
The sign on the door confirms
what everyone else already knows:
There has been a death in the family.

Recliner Therapy

He's out there again,
my neighbor, the doctor,
waiting for the snow plow 
to pass so he can jog
on a clean street.

It's 5 a.m. and we've had
three inches of snow 
and it's still coming down
but nothing can stop him.
Doc jogs every morning,

good weather or bad.
This morning we meet
because I'm out spelunking 
in the snow and the dark
for my morning paper.

Going through his warm-ups,
he invites me once again
to join him for a jog, an
invitation he extends when  
we meet on dark mornings.

As I have before, I tell him
I know I'll arrive soon enough
in Cadaverville and have
no desire to get there faster. 
Months ago, I told him

about articles in the paper
three or four times a year
indicating that another
otherwise healthy man has 
dropped dead jogging.

I tell him that's not a good thing.
One of the deceased, I mention, 
was a cardiologist like him.
Couldn't remember his name
but he was young too, with kids.

I go on to explain that I am  
a believer in Recliner Therapy,
something I find very beneficial.
I add that I've never heard of a soul
dropping dead in a recliner 

though I admit that could happen
but so far I have seen no mention 
of such a tragedy in the paper.
Thirty years my junior at least,
this young doctor who jogs 

asks what I do for exercise
as he puffs through his warm-ups.
I tell him I push all the way back 
in my humongous recliner
at least three times a day

and wiggle my toes, grab
a Kleenex and blow my nose.
I tell him I believe in a 
holistic, head-to-toe
approach to exercise. 

The snow plow finally passes
and the young doctor chuckles,
hikes up his sweat pants
and jogs off, arms swinging,
through flakes of snow.

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