Saturday, January 23, 2016

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Long Red Leash

The scruffy old man 
and his white poodle
on a long red leash 
were neighborhood icons
years ago down at the corner 
where children laughed 
and petted the dog while
waiting for the school bus.

Every afternoon
when the bus came back
to drop them off 
the scruffy old man
and his poodle were there
and the kids would
laugh and take turns 
petting the dog again.

Those children grew up
and went away.
The ones who wait 
for the school bus today 
have never seen 
the white poodle
on the long red leash.

They don’t know the dog 
got out of its yard one day
when the scruffy old man
didn't lock his gate.

No wonder the children 
find it strange to see 
a scruffy old man 
bent over and 
talking to himself 
in a language
they can't understand
walking a long red leash.

Monsanto Scientist in Hospice

He wants to do certain things
he should have done before old
age and illness reaped their harvest.

The doctor gives him days  
perhaps a week to breathe
but he can’t remember what 

he wanted to do before Monsanto
hired him as master chef to 
prepare and serve prey.

The firm still raves about his work  
in Vietnam where Agent Orange 
remains first marinade today.

Chloe Calling

The problem with Chloe is 
she moved to San Diego
where the weather’s fair 
but hasn't found anyone  
who’ll listen to her so she
calls you or me at midnight.

Back here she had folks
who liked to listen to her
and if someone got fed up
someone else stepped up
with a problem to discuss.
Some folks liked Chloe
taking an interest in them.

Remember old Homer  
in the nursing home?
Twice a week she took him
a mocha latte and a cookie. 
He’d sit up in bed and listen 
as long as the coffee lasted.
Once she forgot his coffee
and Homer grumbled a bit
and fell asleep.

When her sister Daisy
got sick they reconciled 
after years of arguments
and Chloe was delighted she
had someone new to counsel 
but when she told Daisy she 
had better go to church
the truce ended there.

Chloe needs more time to meet
someone new in San Diego. 
Dudley left her, I understand,
to marry Alice who understood 
Dudley didn’t like fancy chat.  
In the meantime, you can try 
what works for me with Chloe.
I unplug the phone before 
I go to bed because she will
dial until someone answers.
Then she won’t hang up.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Some of his work can be found at 

1 comment:

  1. I liked all of your poems especially Long Red Leash.
    Remembering things that used to be and are no longer.
    It is sad in a way. Only those who remember will know.