Thursday, October 17, 2013

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Stumps in His Cabbage

You would think you would 
love a man who died 
for you and for everyone else, 
even those who will never 
know that he did.
But you don't, not really.  

The monks in the choir
you hear on Sunday 
sing hymns from the heart.
They make fruitcake all week
stoked by the knowledge 
he died for them. 

They love him 
in a way that you 
can only imagine
despite much prayer. 
You adore him, however, 
as well you should. 

You know he's infinite,
omnipotent, without 
beginning or end. 
You hold him in awe. 
No one commands your
respect more than him. 

You follow his will, mostly. 
You tell others about him 
but the love doesn't come, 
gripped as you are 
in tongs that have held you 
since childhood

growing up in a house 
where a man who worked 
long hours, never drank, 
put you through school 
then went nuclear at dinner 
with your mother  

when he discovered 
"stumps in my cabbage, 
lumps in my potatoes," 
a man whose roar rattled
the neighbors and sent 
the dog under the bed.

You would think you would 
love a man who died 
for you and for everyone else. 
But you don't, not really. 
You keep trying to love him 
and your father as well.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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