Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Dial 'M' for Memories

Willie in his 80s now
hadn’t made sense in years.
His wife understood his 
grunts from the recliner
where she propped him up 
till bedtime where snoring 
was music in the night.

His grandson told neighbors
Gramps had Old-Timer’s Disease,
an excellent diagnosis
with which doctors agreed.
It was time to move Gramps 
to a home so his wife began 
packing things he would need.
It was then she found 
an old photo in a drawer
under his socks and shorts.
It was dated 1948, still clear
though crinkled a bit.

It was Gramps’ class photo
from his 8th-grade graduation. 
All the young faces were suns
gleaming in their own universe.
She showed it to Willie when 
she brought him his lunch.
He blinked and pointed to a girl
in the third row and said,
“Call Carol and tell her
we’re going to the movies.
Tom Mix and 25 cartoons.”

His wife was old enough 
to remember that a Western
and 25 cartoons were a
regular Saturday matinee  
at the local film house
for kids in 1948.
But she was two years
behind Willie and had
never gone with him.

Besides she was still shook 
just to hear Willie talk.
This was the first sentence
he had offered in years.
She didn’t know what to say.
Finally she said she didn’t 
know what Carol’s number was
so how could she call?
Willie looked her in the eye 
with a twinkle from long ago
and said “Prospect 6-3943.”

All the Nudes Not Fit to Print

No more nudes in Playboy
according to the anchor 
on the Nightly News.

Playboy has declared
nudes passé because 
they’re found so easily

gamboling on the Internet 
doing everything imaginable.
Some men date instead.

Venus Calling Mars at Midnight

Millie calls the hotel at midnight
to tell Willie he didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s the way he didn’t do anything wrong

that’s the problem because a man doesn't
send a girl yellow roses on Valentine’s Day.
Willie is half asleep but awake enough 

to know if he didn’t do anything wrong
why is Millie calling him at midnight.
He’s out of town on the company’s buck

and has a big meeting tomorrow with
a big presentation to give to the board.
He listens for 20 minutes and as soon

as Millie's voice cracks he knows 
a hurricane of tears has begun so he says
he didn’t order any yellow roses.

He ordered three-dozen long-stems
with a jungle of the usual greenery 
in a beautiful vase with baby’s breath.

He figured they'd send red roses because 
he paid enough to buy a botanical garden.
Millie says tomorrow she’s calling the florist 

and giving him Hades but Willie says please don’t. 
He and the guy who took the order are from Mars. 
Willie will pick up red roses on his way back to Venus.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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