Donal Mahoney

(photo of Donal Mahoney)

 

Miss Carol's Dumplings

 

Every month or so

on a Sunday afternoon

I skip the football game

and get in my truck

and drive out from the city

into farm country

to visit Miss Carol

and get my hands

on her plump dumplings.

Biggest I've ever seen.

Best I've ever had,

terrific with her

legs and thighs.

When she lays out 

her chicken dinner  

on that white tablecloth

I start drooling before

I even get a hand on it.

A farm girl, she says 

she's never met 

a man like me

so nuts am I

about her dumplings.

Usually, she says,

men like breast meat,

when it's moist,

and I allow how I

like that as well

but not as much 

as her plump dumplings

on a Sunday afternoon

and her pluperfect

legs and thighs

 

 

 

Monsanto's Gift to War

 

Smitty isn't Schulte.

He doesn't drive a Cadillac 

and doesn't hit his wife 

often any more.

Schulte, on the other hand,

drives a Cadillac

and hits his wife 

usually on weekends

for no good reason.

He's been doing that for 

more than 40 years

ever since the boys

came home from Viet Nam

 

not knowing they had been

touched by Agent Orange,

Monsanto's gift to war.

They had a double wedding with 

girls they liked in high school. 

Smitty says therapy

has helped a little.

He hasn't struck his 

second wife in years.

But Schulte hasn't changed. 

The police have come again 

tonight, sirens blaring, 

gumball lights swirling.

 

Two big officers, 

matched like bookends,

march Schulte out in cuffs. 

He's cursing at his wife 

who's in a nightgown 

bawling on the porch

as if Schulte's going 

back to Nam again.

Smitty swears Schulte 

never left the paddies, that 

he's still knee-deep in water 

bright with Agent Orange,

Monsanto's gift to war. 

 

 

 

The Only Place to Go in Tipperary 

 

Father Kelly has always claimed

the only place to go in Tipperary

once you're dead is Eagan's Mortuary.

Father Kelly says Eagan lays a client out

as if a body were a mackerel from the sea

glistening in the bottom of a boat 

once the mad thrashing is over.

Father Kelly has always claimed 

a dead mackerel deserves a nap

before the flames of hell take over.

 

The late Tommy Dugan arrived at Eagan's

a day or so after he'd been shot 

and Eagan laid him out perfectly 

with both eyes open and a plastic 

booger peeking from his nose,

a cosmetic touch Tommy had requested

when he came to Eagan's the week before, 

chomping on an unlit panatela.

Tommy came that day to make 

final arrangements, as they say. 

 

That same day Tommy asked if he could be 

waked in Eagan's finest casket upside down, 

his pants pulled down around his knees 

and a sign across his arse saying "Kiss this!"

as a final salute to his mother-in-law.

But the law in Tipperary specifies

no sign of any kind in any casket so 

Tommy settled for the plastic booger in his nose.

He knew his mother-in-law would curse it 

at the family viewing prior to the wake.

 

At Eagan's you can make arrangements 

years before you die and Eagan guarantees 

he'll lay you out the way you specify 

provided everything's within the law, of course.

But Tommy Dugan's widow swears 

Eagan must have been possessed to put 

a plastic booger in a dead man's nose. 

Rosie Dugan can't believe her sober Tommy

would ever ask for anything like that.

But after Mass on Sunday friends remind her

 

Father Kelly has always claimed

the only place to go in Tipperary

once you're dead is Eagan's Mortuary.

Father Kelly says Eagan lays a client out

as if a body were a mackerel from the sea

glistening in the bottom of a boat 

once the mad thrashing is over.

Father Kelly has always claimed 

a dead mackerel deserves a nap

before the flames of hell take over.

 

 

Donal Mahoney

 

Bio:  Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in Eskimo Pie and other publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html