Donal Mahoney - "Bending, Grabbing, Sorting," "First Son Growing," and "Chino and Chambray."

Bending, Grabbing, Sorting


                    Chinese Laundry

                    Chicago, 1970


In a storefront laundry

on North Clark Street

brown draperies release

this quiet man


who has my shirts.

He smiles and bows--

how carefully

he wraps them.


Before the draperies

fall back, I see,

for a moment,

in a circle swirling


almost out of sight

three kerchiefed women,

glistening black,

bending, grabbing, sorting.




First Son Growing


In the long run the boy will be worth

all the misery I’ve caused you,

all the grief.

If only for his smile,


yours, I know.

If only for his eyes,

mine, I know.

But his eyes,


they have your smile,

brighter than a rainbow,

streaming through them. 




Chino and Chambray 


Forty years older than I,

Charles, in his tweed cap, stands starched

in gray chino and blue chambray.


For more than a year his broad tie

has let the same iridescent duck

fly against a vermillion sky.


Like a Vatican Guard

he oversees the parking lot

I cut through each morning,


far corner to far corner,

as I cleave two triangles of cars

parked in my wake.


I ask him one morning,

“Charles, do you mind

when I cut through your lot?”


“Not at all, sir,” says Charles

as he stares straight ahead

and starts the windmill


of his good arm to guide

the pearl Hummer

now pulling in.


Donal Mahoney has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor, Revival (Ireland), The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Mid-America Poetry Review, U.S. Catholic, The Davidson Miscellany, The Goddard Journal, The Pembroke Magazine, The Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine, Sou’wester, Salt Lick, The Mustang Review, Obscurity and a Penny, The Common Ground Review, The Centrifugal Eye, The Honey Land Review, Lark, The Avocet Review, Poetry Super Highway, Miller’s Pond,  The Road Apple Review and other publications.

Posted on December 7, 2013 .