Donal Mahoney



Dying at Midnight

Two big attendants
in white coats are here
to remove my remains.
My son called the mortuary
after Murphy said I was gone.
The doctor, a good neighbor,
came over at midnight, found
no pulse and made it official.
I could have saved him the trip.
I knew I was gone.

My wife’s in the kitchen
crying with my daughter
in a festival of Kleenex.
I told her I was sick
but she didn’t believe me.
She thought I was faking it
so I wouldn’t have to go
to her mother’s for dinner.
I don’t like lamb but
her mother’s from Greece.
Lamb shanks are always
piled on the table.
Stuffed grape leaves I like
and she’ll make them for
Christmas provided I start
begging at Thanksgiving.
Every Easter, however,
it’s another fat leg of lamb,
marbled with varicosities
and sauced with phlebitis.

Right now I’m wondering
who’ll win the argument
between the two angels
facing off in the mirror
on top of the dresser.
The winner gets my soul
which is near the ceiling,
a flying saucer spinning
out of control.
I want the angel
in the white tunic
to take it in his backpack.
The other guy in gray
looks like Peter Lorre
except for the horns.



Nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney has had work published in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at

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