Donal Mahoney

Love Is Another Thing

 

Sitting at the table
spinning the creamer
running her fingers through sugar
the kids spilled at supper, Sue

 

suddenly says, “Don,
love is another thing.”
Since love is another thing
I have to go rent a room,

 

leave behind eight years,
five kids, the echoes of me
raging at noon on the phone,
raging at night, the mist

 

of whose fallout ate her skin,
ate her bones, left her a kitten
crying high in an oak
let me free, let me free

 

© Donal Mahoney

 

In Break Formation

 

 

The indications used to come
like movie fighter planes in break
formation, one by one, the perfect
plummet, down and out. This time they’re
slower. But after supper, when I hear her
in the kitchen hum again, hum higher,
higher, till my ears are numb,
I remember how it was
the last time: how she hummed
to Aramaic peaks, flung
supper plates across the kitchen
till I brought her by the shoulders
humming to the chair.
I remember how the final days
her eyelids, operating on their own,
rose and fell, how she strolled
among the children, winding tractors,
hugging dolls, how finally
I phoned and had them come again,
how I walked behind them
as they took her by the shoulders,
house dress in the breeze, slowly
down the walk and to the curbing,
how I watched them bend her
in the back seat of the squad again,
how I watched them pull away
and heard again the parliament
of neighbors talking.

 

© Donal  Mahoney