This poem by Donal Mahoney takes a snapshot of a life-changing moment. The image appears fast, fierce to the mind's eye, and clear; but this poem has a way of lingering with me quietly, even after I turn away from the bright picture it creates in my mind, and leads me to remember times when a loss has provided a cleansing or even transformational experience.
I stood in the alley, still
in pajamas, somebody’s shoes,
another man’s coat, my eyes
on the bronc of the hoses.
Squawed in the blankets of neighbors,
my wife and three children sipped
chocolate, stood orange and still.
Of the hundred or more I had stored
in a drawer, I could remember,
comma for comma, no more than four,
none of them final,
all of them fetal.
Poem, copyright Donal Mahoney, all rights reserved.
Donal Mahoney has had work published in a variety of print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He is a frequent contributor to this blog.