Poems and Poetry

An Askew Life | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

On a clear day in the day room
he will tell anyone he has
had an askew life.

When he was a small boy
out for a Sunday walk
with his parents
his father would shout
not to walk on the edge
of the sidewalk

and in grammar school
the nuns would get upset
because he didn’t always
write between the lines

and at jobs after college
despite doing things well
and getting promotions
he had a habit of being late

and in a long otherwise
satisfactory marriage
his wife would get upset
because he didn’t put stamps
on envelopes straight.

On a bad day in the day room
he will tell anyone none
of those people is still alive.

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