Friday, April 15, 2016

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

A Life Without Guard Rails

You think you got problems?
You probably do but would 
you trade with Phillip,
a Vietnam vet who still thinks 
Agent Orange lurks in 
every puddle he steps 
around after a heavy rain,
who shovels snow, 
cuts lawns and rakes leaves
to make his disability  
check go further?

He has a snow shovel
but someone stole his mower
and the grass is growing
and customers are waiting.
He saved three months
to buy a used car to replace
the van that died and that car 
died yesterday in the street but 
the payments are still due.

Some people think Phillip  
causes his own problems 
but no one has the answer 
as to how he can change 
a life that hasn't changed 
much since Vietnam.

It took ten years 
to qualify for disability.
He’s been doing odd jobs
and he’ll keep doing them 
until he can no longer walk.
He says a Veterans Home
has promised to take him in.

Donal Mahoney


Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at


  1. So many veterans in all these different wars and conflicts around the world, are struggling on a day to day basis. I heard of Wounded Warriors hopefully
    they are here to help these brave men and women.


  2. No one who was in Nam is left behind.