Poems and Poetry

homelessness poems

Gold in My Ramen | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

It’s your anniversary so
you’re thinking steak
but your wife wants ramen
so you go to a nice place
and order the fancy ramen
which comes with radishes
cut up to look like rosebuds
and costs as much as steak.

You slurp away with
the best of the regulars
until a gold crown falls
from a molar into the ramen.
Seconds later another
gold crown falls off as well.
The next day the dentist says
you need new crowns.
The old ones won’t fit.

He tells you the new ones
will be made of zirconia.
They’ll cost $900 each
cheaper than gold
he says in consolation.

In shock you ask him
what do the homeless do.
He says there’s no ER
for dental work but
he’s heard about
a retired dentist
must be in his eighties
who goes into the city
one Saturday a month
and does charity work.
He needs help
your dentist says.
And more folding chairs
in the waiting room.

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A World without Selfies | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Twin sons
in different cities
decked out in new suits
fly home for the holidays
arrive at the airport
within the same hour.

Dad picks them up
but doesn’t head home.
It’s near midnight
a cold Christmas Eve.

He heads for the city
humming old carols.
His sons want to know
where they are going.
What is he up to?
They never can tell.

Soon they find out
arriving downtown
driving past men
maybe two dozen
on Christmas Eve
huddled on curbs
leaning against buildings.

He wants his young sons
now first-year attorneys
great jobs and good money
to know what they have
but to remember forever
there’s a world without selfies.

Tomorrow it’s church
a golden turkey to follow
toasts and good cheer
so easy to forget
men huddled on curbs
leaning against buildings
on a cold Christmas Eve
homeless for the holidays.

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