Friday, July 25, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Hope and Mr. Neery

I saw Mr. Neery,
ninety if a day,
wobbly on his walker

on his way to Sunday Mass.
He won't accept a ride,
insists on walking.

He's easy to spot,
a St. Louis Cardinals fan 
in a bright red jacket

and a Cardinals cap
that halts a hurricane
of snowy hair.

It's his first Mass  
since burying his wife
a month ago when

someone lent him
a black suit to wear.
Now he's in red again,

a sign of hope,
even if he's bent over,
his humped back 

question mark growing.
But he's no different now
than he was before.

He still comes to Mass
like everyone else
looking for the answer

and to pray for the Cardinals
who play the Mets
at 1 o'clock this afternoon.

Old Stag Giddy

Elmer's an old stag now
shedding antlers
snorting among the trees

but sometimes Martha 
after her shower 
is a doe beckoning  

and he becomes giddy 
and heads for the salt lick
happy in the breeze

Carousel of Marriage

Harry and Grace had a carousel
of marriage while it lasted.
There were arguments galore
and children by the score 
or so the neighbors thought
as they counted kids
running across their lawns
causing divots to fly and 
dogs to barka canine 
tabernacle choir.

Fireworks on the Fourth
were peaceful in comparison.
The kids would light their 
crackers in the yard while 
Harry and Grace sat
and swirled vodka on ice
in plastic tumblers. 

Harry and Grace had arguments
so loud the cops would come 
but no one was ever arrested.
Grace would say Harry was wonderful
and Harry would say Grace was too.
But eventually Harry moved out 
and Grace got a job doing hair. 
Harry sent money for years
and the kids went to college.

Decades later a neighbor saw Harry
at the Mall and they had a nice chat.
Harry said he was happy his kid
got degrees and it was good Grace 
had married the farrier and moved 
to Wyoming where there were horses.
Not much work for a farrier in Brooklyn.
He had time to break up a marriage.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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