A Piece of Fruit Every Morning

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

This morning Len sections his breakfast orange
with the knife he bought in Paris 40 years ago
on his honeymoon. He bought it from a vendor

at a street market selling every kind of knife,
beautiful creations he said he made at home.
Len no longer has that wife but he uses

the knife every morning to cut up his fruit
of the day. It might be a grapefruit, apple,
a melon in season but usually an orange.

Len never thinks about his first wife
but he remembers the blind beggar
sitting on a mat near the stand

pleading for a coin to buy bread
for breakfast as Len and his knife
rushed past to catch up with his wife.

At Sadie’s Soul Food Grill

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Otis was once a monk
who took no vows, was
free to leave the abbey
and eventually he did.
I met him over chicken wings
at Sadie’s Soul Food Grill.

For almost 20 years
every spring and summer
Otis labored in the fields
raising vegetables
and crops of every kind.

In fall and winter he
would gather leaves and
plow the snow, wheel
ancient monks up and down
the endless silent halls.
He loved his work
because he liked to help
anyone in need.

I asked Otis why he left.
He said because at first
he thought life was a burp
somewhere in eternity.
He still believes that but
wants to hear the burp
before he’s in eternity.

Otis likes the chicken wings
at Sadie’s Soul Food Grill,
especially the real hot ones.
He ate chicken at the abbey
but nothing like the wings
at Sadie’s Soul Food Grill.
A real treat before eternity.