Friday, September 18, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Dancing in the Candy Aisle at 6 a.m.

A boy, maybe 5, dancing 
in the candy aisle of a megastore
at 6 a.m., a month before Halloween

is overjoyed by the harvest 
on every shelf, his caramel skin 
aglow, his hair a perfect 'fro, 

his black t-shirt and black jeans 
the right outfit for his performance.
And although he has the moves 

he’s more a cub scout than 
another Michael Jackson.
He has the aisle to himself 

except for me and my cart
at one end and a clerk 
with a box at the other 

both of us stunned to see
a boy with no arms dancing 
in the candy aisle till mother 

comes and scoops him up, 
plops him in her empty cart. 
Both laugh and disappear.

Not at All like Life

Bathroom faucet
has a slow drip.
I can barely see it.

Shorter wife sees it,
wants it fixed now.
I try hard but can’t do it.

Plumber comes,
says it can’t be fixed.
He has a new faucet

and it costs a lot.
Wife wants new faucet.
I say just a minute.

Isn’t old faucet 
just like life?
Why not let it drip.

An hour later 
we have a new faucet.
Not at all like life.

Aunt Bea in the Old Folks Home

Aunt Bea is 102 so who am I
to contradict her when she 
calls Shady Acres
the Old Folks Home
when I visit her once a week 
and bring a hot fudge sundae
which she has trouble eating now. 
It used to disappear in minutes 
with her licking the plastic spoon.

She says they moved her to 
this other floor and won’t let her
get out of bed, and although 
the nurse told me what 
prompted the move, I ask 
Aunt Bea why they did it
and she says it’s because 
she told Doctor Kuffman
about the bad nurses 
and the water problem.

Whenever she asks for
a glass of water, she says, 
the nurses take her out back
and put her in the bucket
back on her father’s farm
and lower her into the well
and tell her to get her own
water and to holler when she’s 
had enough and they’ll
pull her back up.

But they never do it right
and she’s always thirsty, 
Aunt Bea says, and she’s 
damn tired of the nurse 
who hollers down "how we 
doin' down there, Sweetie"
and then taking an hour 
to pull her back up and 
she still has no water 
because the three of them 
in their fancy uniforms 
never give her a glass.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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