Posts Tagged ‘Donal Mahoney’


 

Manna Falls

Cardinals bicker

and knock seed from the feeder.

Doves parade below.

 

 

 

Hope in Winter

Robin on the lawn.

Three hops and stops to listen.

Somewhere must be spring.

 

 

 

 

 

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All I Did Was Admire Her Aloud
 
“Quiet, please,” I tell her,
“I want to hear the music.”
She is sitting next to me again,
this time on a paisley couch,
a woman in a lime bikini I met
only this morning sprawled
on the Morse Avenue Beach.
All I did was admire her aloud,
not recognize her age, and an hour later
she brought me home with her.
Now she is curling into me again
and moaning at a remarkable pitch.
Finally she spits into my neck
what it’s all about
this time and every time
“Honey…I am…coming.”

Cockfight at the Bus Stop

As the snow swirls around them,
one old man in a wheelchair
uses sign language to tell
another old man standing
at the bus stop, “Friend,
you creak when you walk.”

Neither one can hear any better
than when they were classmates
at a school for the deaf eons ago.
They learned to sign by writing
in the air with fingers honed
on the whetstone of banter.

Amiable as ever, the creaky man
counters with fingers quicker than
beaks in a Tijuana cockfight.
Amigo, how can you tell
that I creak when I walk?
Do my knees sign that well?”


MAKE VERDANT AGAIN THE HILLS

 

She walks the rack of bright frocks

as her husband, an Angus aging,

paws at the carpet behind her.

She wants the right dress

 

to make verdant again the hills

that summers ago

brought her young bull

into her valleys.

 

Now he needs prodding

even to graze.

Now she no longer

 

has to rope off

what he used to rip up.

Now he causes no pain.

 


MAYBE IT WAS SLEEP APNEA

 

Zenobia Jackson told Officer Murphy that her husband, Rufus, was 73 years old and “a wonderful man when he was awake” but for the past year he had been jerking “something terrible” during his sleep and had kept waking her up. He’d swing his arms, she said, like those martial arts men he liked to watch so much on television. When the bouts were over, he’d give her a big kiss on the forehead and go to bed.

 

“Oh, he was just a doll,” she said, “when he was awake.”

 

In the last month, however, Rufus had fallen out of bed three times “fighting” in his dreams. In the morning he’d tell her he’d been dreaming that he was in a fight at work or back in high school many years ago. Sometimes he dreamt he was shooting at burglars breaking into their house in the old neighborhood. That’s why they had to move to a different neighborhood and why he bought a gun, a little pistol he kept under his pillow just in case he heard someone in the house. You can’t be too careful these days, he told her. He even taught her how to shoot the gun one night when no one else was on the tennis courts in Sherman Park. He said she was real good. Not many women, he said, can aim straight.

 

But last night, she said, he was dreaming again and swung his arms at least ten times, like he was chopping sugar cane back in Louisiana before they moved North. He caught her with an elbow to the eye and then another to the nose just as she was ducking. That’s why she looks the way she does, she told Officer Murphy.

 

Long ago, she had stopped trying to wake him when he was thrashing about. It was because of the pistol under his pillow. He had reached for it one time right after she had shaken him. She had screamed and that woke him up and he wasn’t too happy about it. He said he couldn’t get back to sleep the rest of the night. And he wasn’t lying because she was awake all night, too, listening to him grumble and curse.

 

Just a week ago, she had taken him to a sleep clinic where he had stayed overnight. The doctor said he suffered from sleep apnea but she had never heard of anyone with sleep apnea thrashing and kicking about like her Rufus. She had a lady friend in the choir at church whose husband had sleep apnea but all he did was “snore too loud,” her friend said, no thrashing about.

 

“So that’s how it happened,” Zenobia told Officer Murphy, who was busy taking notes. Rufus had reached under the pillow for the pistol and she had to stop him.

 

“Two in the head,” she said, “and he be dead.”