Donal Mahoney

Diamond of Jello

From my stool in the diner I watch
the old woman with elm tree arms
command the big booth in back

and roar for a menu,
take a half hour to read it
before placing her order.

Watching her eat, I realize
life for her is a dollop of whip cream,
a twirling ballerina, on a diamond of Jello.

I raise my water glass
in a silent toast. Bravo, I whisper.
I wish her good cheer.

Leaving the Station

Each morning
I step from the train
and march with the others

leaving the station.
The weatherman's warned of rain
so we're armed

with umbrellas,
our briefcases swinging.
Across from the station

there's an old hotel
high in the sky. King Kong,
everyone calls it.

In tall windows
old men appear,
disappear, reappear.

It is August in Chicago
and the old men wear
overcoats and homburgs

so no one can steal them.
They light cigarettes,
mumble and curse

at the daily parade
leaving the station.
Traffic is thick

but even in winter
no one looks up
since no one can hear them.


Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Gloom Cupboard (U.K.), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Poetry Friends, Poetry Super Highway, Pirene's Fountain (Australia) and other publications.