Two Poems by Donal Mahoney

The Deli On Granville

I lived in the attic back then,
and late those evenings I had to study
and couldn't afford to go drinking
I'd run down to the deli and buy

bagels and smoked lox.
I'd watch the lame son
wrap each item in white paper
while his father, coughing at the register,

pointed to the cans on the wall
and screamed, "Serve yourself! Serve yourself!"
I'd grab a tin of baked beans and he'd smile.
Now, years later, I return to the deli

and find that it's closed.
The sign on the door confirms
what everyone else already knows:
There has been a death in the family.

Father: Every Morning of His Life

The cup he took his tea from
all those years was Army surplus,
made of tin. It whirred

to the spoon he wound in it
15 times per lump of sugar.
We who slept in rooms just off

the kitchen rose like ghosts
to the winding of that spoon.
In my house, now, mornings

Sue’s the first downstairs. She
scalds the leaves and wonders:
Will the winding ever end?


Old 333 said...

Great! I can hear the spoon ding-clunking now.

Anonymous said...

I liked both poems at first read; but when I re-read them aloud I realized how good they both are in use of cadence internal ryme, and consonance.

It's wonderful to read poems that reflect the writer's range in reading other poets.

I wish my father were still alive. He would have loved these poems. Thanks.

Joseph Hargraves


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