Friday, March 21, 2014

Olympic Gestures

Donal Mahoney

—Donal Mahoney, St. Louis, MO

If I met the same women now
I probably wouldn't know them.
They're missing teeth, I bet,
and have gray Medusa hair.

Their eyes no longer dance, I'm sure,
and they have liver spots everywhere.
They likely wobble in their flats
and haven't worn heels

since adding fifty pounds.
Some of them, I'm certain,
wouldn't recognize me, either,
despite thick spectacles.

They can't recall the picnics
we enjoyed with wine and caviar
under oak trees in Grant Park,
never mind the nights that followed.

Who needs a woman that forgetful?
I need a younger woman now,
someone I can finally marry,
a girl with a figure like Monroe,

Hepburn's eyes and Hayworth's hair,
someone lithe, slim and graceful,
someone strong enough to push
my wheelchair up the ramp.


—Donal Mahoney

On their 50th anniversary
Sammy gave Dolly a necklace 
and told his darling wife that
if they lived long enough
one of them would wake 
to find the other one had died.
"That's life," said Sammy.

And so it came to pass
Dolly rose one day
and found old Sammy
on the bathroom floor,
face blue, body cold,
arms outstretched,
an old man crucified.

This wasn't the first time
in 50 years Sammy had
ruined Dolly's day but now
free of fear, Dolly spoke:
"I never thought you'd die.
I'll have your ashes in an urn
and under dirt by end of day."


—Donal Mahoney

Saturday afternoon.
He's watching the Olympics
and she calls to say
she's still at the store.
Would he like to go
to a movie this afternoon?

He says he's watching
the Olympics and the U.S.
is on the verge of winning
a gold medal against Russia,
which is no small feat,
he reminds her nicely.

He asks the name of the movie
and discovers it's a chick flick
two men in the world
might like to see.

In an Olympic gesture
he agrees to go with her
if they can sit in the balcony.
He's amazed when she agrees.

When they get to the theatre
it's practically empty.
Everyone's at home, he says,
watching the Olympics.
They sit in the balcony,
the last row.

After an hour she admits
she doesn't like the movie
so they kiss a little.
He nibbles her ear and
puts a hand on her thigh.

He kisses her again
and whispers he's going
for the gold.
She's still his bride,
beautiful and new,
after 34 years.


—Donal Mahoney
You're standing on a window ledge
on the 50th floor of your building.
It's Valentine's Day in Manhattan,
clouds cruising, sun everywhere,

a nice breeze tossing your hair,
the taste of that woman always there.
Do you wonder what happens after
you jump or do you simply not care?

Does God meet you halfway down
and say "What a foolish thing to do."
Or does Satan appear and shout
"Here's the Magnus Doofus of my day."

Do you begin to wonder when
you're a foot above the asphalt
whether you'll hear the splat or
do you jump and simply not care?


—Donal Mahoney

Did I forgive her, you ask?
What a silly question.
Why wouldn't I forgive her?
The mother of my children,

she's been dead for years.
Our long war died with her.
Did I attend her funeral?
I'd have been a distraction.

But I pray for her,
the repose of her soul.
She belongs in Heaven,
no denying that, up front

in a box seat after all
she's been through.
If I'm lucky, I'll find
the side door to

Heaven unlocked.
I'll sneak in quietly
and if Peter doesn't 
throw me out, I'll sit

in the bleachers.
The question is,
will I wave if she
turns around?


Today's LittleNip:

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

—Rainer Maria Rilke


—Medusa, with thanks to Donal Mahoney for today's delectable poems. Donal, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His poetry and fiction have appeared in print and online publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at  Welcome to the Kitchen, Donal, and don't be a stranger!

—Anonymous 'Way Cool Photo