Friday, November 13, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Time Flies

Used to be
she’d tell him what
to get at the grocery store
and he always brought it back.
Now she makes a list.

Used to be
she knew by noon what
she’d make for dinner.
Everything from scratch.
Now she’s in the pantry 
rummaging at 6.

Used to be
the two of them would cheer 
the sunrise on the patio 
with coffee imported
from Antigua or Barbados.
Now they sleep in.
Have instant later.

Used to be
they’d sit on the porch
and watch the sun go down
with oohs and aahs 
and a glass of sherry.
Now they doze in rockers
until it’s almost 10.

A Certain Look

Some things you can’t undo.
A remark, perhaps, you can retract
or try to with an explanation. 

But a certain look can
burn forever in the mind
of its observer, a missile you

never knew you launched.
Maya Angelou was right.
Some folks can’t recall

years later what you said
but they remember instantly
how you made them feel.

Stranger Comes to Town

Beautiful fall day
in a potter’s field 
outside a small town.
A funeral is underway
but that doesn’t stop 
the leaves russet and gold 
a few still green 
falling among the stones
without a name.

The minister reads a verse 
over the grave of a man 
found by deer hunters.
No idea who he is or
where he came from,
a body dumped.

Four people from 
the clapboard church
with the wayward steeple
over the hill gather 'round 
heads bowed, hands clasped.

An old worker with a shovel
stands like a soldier 
near the shed and
waits for everyone to leave
so he can finish up.
It’s almost lunch time.

One by one cars pull away
and now it’s just us, the dirt 
and a gold leaf falling on me.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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