Donal Mahoney Poems
In the waiting room, I squeeze
this old rosary a nun gave me
the day I got back from Iraq.
I was still in a daze on a gurney
and I still had sand in my hair.
Some of it remains, no matter
how many showers I take.
Sand from Iraq lingers, I'm told,
until you go bald, and then
you are able to concentrate
on other things.
What might they be, I wonder.
But today, in this waiting room,
I squeeze the rosary tighter
when I hear, louder than
the gunshots crackling in my dreams,
the real screams of that little boy
The New Morse Hotel
Chicago, circa 1970
What if after Browne has gone
one of us discovers who Browne was,
leads the rally to his room before
the maid has time to broom the webs,
retrieve from underneath the bed
the sweat-stiff socks, the lemon underwear?