Donal Mahoney


        Ireland to America, long ago

In this Kerryman's eyes
you can still see
big ships sail
and lighthouses flicker
light years away.
He's 70 today
and sits tombstone straight
in his caneback chair.
He waves at the flake
hanging from his nose,
misses and curses.
It's his first curse of the day
and he's ready now for anything,
an ancient ram braced for the British
climbing through the mist.
His children, parents themselves now,
sit in his parlor, silent around him.
When they hear that first curse,
they know it's 20 years earlier
and Father is calling
a big meeting of the Family.
They shift in their chairs
as his eyes and his words
whiz around the room
like bees liquored up
looking for something to sink into.

Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press, McDonnell Douglas Corp. (now the Boeing Corp.) and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor, Revival (Ireland), The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), The Davidson Miscellany, Public Republic (Bulgaria) and other publications.