Sunday, October 12, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Twin Girls, 1948

Beth was always different
marching as she did
to an armless drummer.

Her sister Kate marched
to another drummer,
one with arms on certain days 

but never with a drum 
that caught the sticks Kate 
kept in the air flailing.

When the girls were young
their mom and dad took them out
for walks on Sunday

afternoons in summer.
The girls waved to butterflies
but never to anyone else.

It was hard for other kids
peering from porches
to understand the problem.
When the twins were small
they didn't call it autism. 
It had no name on my block.

Now the illness has a name
and different medications
that sometimes temper

but never cure.
The girls are women now
old and living in a big home

with others in a small band
some still playing instruments
no one else can see.

Amid the Silence of Imams

Carnage rolls 
across the sand
amid the silence 
of imams  

Women raped,  
children killed, 
amid the silence 
of imams

What will it take
to stop the carnage 
amid the silence 
of imams 

Dead Brother’s Note to Our Dad

Dad, happy to see
you’re taking a nap.
I’m down at the pier
so give me a shout
when you wake up
and I’ll come running.
The fishing’s been great--
three coolers of pike
iced in the trunk.

You always tell Mom 
before we leave 
you won’t be drinking 
and she lets Tim and me 
go with you but 
you drink all day 
here at the lake.

I'll get my license next year
so things will be different.
I'll drive back at night so 
you can nap in the car.
I’ll keep the radio off
so you won’t wake up.
It’s always good 
to see Mom.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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