Saturday, August 23, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Norman Doesn't Go to Ferguson, Missouri

Not far from Ferguson aflame
are quiet leafy neighborhoods 
Norman Rockwell might have painted 
when subdivisions first appeared.

These neighborhoods are beautiful
because Norman still comes back
four times a year, some say, 
for touch-up work here and there

during the changing of the seasons.
He paints russets on the leaves in fall, 
crystals on the snow in winter, 
yellow on the daffodils in spring, 

red and pink on roses in the summer.
But Norman doesn't paint in Ferguson  
because Ferguson he says is Watts 
raging down the road to resurrection.

Tom-Toms in the Night

When he walks behind her
so many years his wife

up the staircase laughing
off to bed this night

he can hear the tom-toms
in the jungle of his night

and so he whispers softly 
let's try for twins tonight.

Madman in Remission

Does he remember?
Jenny, how could he forget?
Thirty years ago you roared 
into his office and raged 
about your cousin's
decision to marry him.
He had never met you.
Your cousin had told him 
you were in town 
and suggested he 
take you to lunch,
show you Chicago.
She didn't know 
you were angry. 
You were just Jenny, 
her cousin, her playmate 
from childhood 
down on the farm. 
You didn't want her 
to marry anyone 
and leave you the last 
cousin still single, 
something odd
in those days
when nobody knew.
You mocked him 
and he couldn't respond
with people around.
But, Jenny, 
you could have died 
that day in his office.
Thirty years later, 
he's still madman 
in remission.
No apology will do. 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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