Donal Mahoney Poems
In the waiting room, I squeeze
this old rosary a nun gave me
the day I got back from Iraq.
I was still in a daze on a gurney
and I still had sand in my hair.
Some of it remains, no matter
how many showers I take.
Sand from Iraq lingers, I'm told,
until you go bald, and then
you are able to concentrate
on other things.
What might they be, I wonder.
But today, in this waiting room,
I squeeze the rosary tighter
when I hear, louder than
the gunshots crackling in my dreams,
the real screams of that little boy
For years I've fed this feral cat at 4 a.m.,
a crouching mound of fur, Satanic black, with yellow eyes
that never blink. I call him 'Doubting Thomas.'
I place his can of Fancy Feast five feet or so from him.
He doesn't stir till I go in the house
and douse the porch light.
Then he leaps and cleans the can