Sunday, November 23, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Two Poems

At Bus Stops on Thanksgiving Day

Before dawn, people
who work on Thanksgiving Day  
wait in the wind for a bus 
to arrive or maybe not.
It's too cold to talk  
so the people stand 
like minutemen and plan 
a revolution that would shock  
nice families who drive by later, 
children tucked in scarves 
and mittens, laughing 
all the way to Nana's house  
for turkey, gravy, stuffing 
and later in the day 
ballerina of whipped cream 
twirling on pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is the day 
America asks for seconds
and sorts its servers 
from the served.

Teddy Will Be Home for the Holidays

This year Teddy phoned me
from who knows where
instead of one of our siblings.
This year I’m the honoree 
but it’s only a matter of time 
before he gets angry again. 
He’s stifling his anger 
because of the holidays. 
He wants a place to eat
and a share in the family glee.

But Sissy is right about Teddy
being nice when he reaches out 
after going away for months. 
He likes to fly in for a holiday,
enjoy a bountiful repast, 
fall back in his chair and
issue the old accusations
recited whenever he visits.

He’s the youngest of seven
and swears every time he comes 
that Mom and Pop treated us better,
that he got the hand-me-downs.
I’m afraid if he’s not on his meds, 
there’ll be an encore this year. 

Right after coffee and dessert
and several snorts of brandy,
Teddy will become a blowtorch 
and burn for at least an hour
scorching us with memories.
The siblings will go up in flames 
along with Mom and Pop
gasping in their graves.

If it happens again this year,
I’ll take the floor after him
and point out that Gertrude Stein 
said a rose is a rose is a rose
but failed to point out that  
a twit is a twit is a twit.
And if reincarnation awaits us,
as Teddy says it does, 
he’ll return as salmonella.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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