Donal Mahoney


An Editor Suggests Revisions - Poem by Donal Mahoney

Yours is the first email I opened this morning.
I appreciate your suggested revisions and invitation
to send the work back once I've made the changes.
I can tell you spent a lot of time analyzing my efforts.
I'm afraid, however, that I can't make the revisions
although I feel I should compensate you for your work.

It is to that end that I took your name to Rebecca.
I showed her your suggestions and she said your name
would be introduced at the next gathering of her coven.
She asked if I had suggestions for revisions to your life
and I said I did and that she might want to take notes.
I said I thought it might be best to have your organs
rot one at a time while your heart remains strong
so you die at a leisurely pace.

She said that could be arranged
although it was an unusual request.
In similar cases, when dispatching someone
who has insulted another, she has found
the insulted usually wants the insulter
sent off as quickly as possible.
I'm unusual, she said, in that respect.
I told her I didn't want to be heartless
and have you die before you have time
to put your affairs in order.

I reminded her not to inflict cancer
on your pancreas too early because
medicine has yet to find a cure for that.
In short order, cancer of the pancreas
means lights out, no lingering about.

I suggested the cancer start in your gall bladder,
move on to your kidneys, then to your lungs
and then to your brain. That will keep
the doctors busy while you waste away.
I suggested she save your pancreas for last.

I also asked her to let me know when
your pancreas becomes fully involved
so I can make plane reservations
to come and say good-bye.

In the meantime, may your next issue
be stillborn. No reason to make it
different from the last.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Poem Edited: Friday, March 7, 2014


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