Thursday, March 5, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Lady in the Snow

I turn the porch light on at 4 a.m. 
to see if a miracle’s occurred 
and the paper's landed somewhere 

in the snow blanketing our lawn. 
Instead I see a clump on the mat 
a one-eyed cat dazed by the cold

looking at me as if to say 
“Are you the guy I saw 
a week ago before I ran?"

Every morning now I feed
two feral toms at our back door 
but never a cat at our front door.

My wife might say okay 
once she knows this cat's
a lady in big trouble. 

When I open the door 
the cat runs across the street 
turns around, sits on the curb 

looks at me and says, “Listen, Mister,
I’m cold and hungry but we just met.
One quick peek is all you get.” 

Mrs. O’Malley

Mrs. O’Malley
from across the alley
has another small job
for my father to do 
which makes my mother 

unhappy because 
Mrs. O’Malley’s been 
bothering Father for years, 
parading around in shorts
and halter top, watering

flowers in her yard
when Father goes out
to cut the grass and weed.
Neighbor ladies have
warned my mother 

about Mrs. O’Malley
from across the alley
because too many husbands
have too often helped
Mrs. O’Malley too well.

Dr. Sander’s Wife

Dr. Sander’s wife
is a woman of means
who dresses down
when she visits
food pantries

as do her neighbors.
They take surplus in
every few weeks. 
At the end of the year
they claim a tax exemption.

A neighbor told her
how to do it while
staying out of dark
and murky places. 
Together they drive  
cans and bottles to  

their suburban pantries
run by nice people who 
serve the frail elderly or 
those laid off  
and looking for food 

to maintain a lifestyle 
and pay their mortgage  
while finding a job.
Dr. Sander’s wife would 
never drive into the city 

and help the destitute.
Why go into harm’s way 
just to be free of clutter 
and pick up a little
tax exemption.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

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