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Two Poems by Donal Mahoney: "Lady Goulds", and "Easter at the Nursing Home"

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Lady Goulds

Moving from Chicago to Missouri wasn't easy

but breeding Lady Goulds kept me sane

for many years--well, almost.

I was writing then to make a living.

All day I'd rearrange other people's words.

I needed Lady Goulds to look at

in the evening and most weekends.

Otherwise I might have married

some nice lady for the wrong reason.

Right now, a canary helps me dance

away the years or days or hours

I have to face before

I take on a cane or walker.

The canary calls the dawn with glee.

Lady Goulds, you see, don't sing.

They don't have to.

All they have to do is sit there

as if Mondrian painted them

or God lifted a pinkie on the 7th day.

The beauty of the Lady Gould,

some say, is the result of evolution.

There was no grand designer,

most scientists maintain.

The Lady Gould is one big accident

that happened eons ago.

I find it comforting to stare at them

and know otherwise.

Easter at the Nursing Home

When bread

is this good

a morsel

will suffice

and when wine

is this good

a sip is enough

for the wraiths

and specters

coming toward

the altar now

on crutches


in wheel chairs


the last Easter

some of them

will know

as they await

a resurrection

of their own.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for U.S. Catholic Magazine, Loyola University Press, and The Chicago Sun-Times. Retired now, he keeps busy writing poetry, fiction and nonfiction. One of the most important aspects of “freedom” for him is freedom of religion and the opportunity in this country to practice it or not practice it. Some of his work can be found at

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