Friday, June 13, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Found in an Attic: 
World War II Letter to a Wife

When I get home
things will be the same.
haven't changed.

The sling  
comes off the day
I get on the plane.

I'll be able 
to cut the grass,
rake the leaves,

shovel the snow,
all the stuff I did before.
And every morning

in summer, fall,
winter and spring, 
when we wake up, 

I'll draw rosettes
with the tip 
of my tongue

on your nipples,
await your orders to 
bivouac elsewhere.

Nothing has changed.
I'm feeling fine. 
We'll cleave again.

Funeral for the Last Parent

They were never one
always two
yet they had five,
adults themselves now,
bowling pins today
upright in the front pew,
wondering still 
after all these years 
why the two 
were never one.

It's not a story
the two would tell
even if they could.
They were galaxies apart.
They had no answer
yet they still had five,
adults themselves now
who can celebrate
they're here at all,
bowling pins today
upright in the front pew.

No need to wonder why 
the two who loved them
were never one.
It's not a story
the two would tell
even if they could.
They're galaxies away.

Letter to an Estranged Middle-Aged Son

The older I get the more I realize
the importance of getting things done
before your mother announces another 

assignment to roust me from my hammock.
As you know I've never been much
around the house, my skills limited to 

raking leaves and shoveling snow, 
menial tasks I haven't missed in years.
Probably not since you lived here.

Your mother, of course, grew up on a farm 
and has always liked getting things done.
But she's getting older too. In fact,

she recently had a big operation 
and I've pitched in beyond my skill set 
despite new stents and a pacemaker.

But even though we just put away
the walker, cane and wheelchair,
all three are on alert so I believe 

it's best to let you know that
one of these days the one who's left 
will ring you up and let you know.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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