Monday, May 23, 2016

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Remembering a War We Tend to Forget

I will never forget him
but I can’t remember his name
it’s been so long ago.
Maybe I never knew it. 

But I think of him on days
America celebrates its veterans—
Memorial Day, July 4th,
Veterans Day, D-Day.
The wars are all remembered 
but not so much this one.

He was Billy's big brother
and more than 60 years ago
Billy and the rest of us
were in 8th grade watching
him climb a ladder
and hammer a hoop 
on the roof of a garage
so we could play ball
while he went to Korea

I saw him again when he 
came back from Korea.
He was walking in circles 
in the family’s backyard 
smoking Pall Malls,
one after another, talking 
to no one we could see.

We were practicing at 
the hoop he nailed up 
before he went to Korea.
We were seniors
in high school then 
and had to be ready. 
We practiced all summer
for the season ahead.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney grew up in a neighborhood in Chicago
where most young men were drafted if their parents
didn’t have enough money to send them to college. 
His parents scrimped and had enough to send him.
No college loans back in the Fifties. 

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