Donal Mahoney: “Ash Wednesday”


A day late (due to travel) but hopefully not a dollar short, I wish my readers a blessed Lent. This season, I am giving up worrying about my friends’ problems. Worrying, of course, is different from praying. I hope to pray more, relying on Jesus’s care for all who are dear to me, and remind myself that it’s not all on my shoulders.

Meanwhile, faithful Reiter’s Block reader Donal Mahoney seems to be thinking along the same lines, with this wistful poem about the difficulty of rescuing a friend from the past. Thanks for sharing.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday I saw Quinn again,
first time in years, sailing the streets,
weaving through people,
collar up, head cocked,
arms like telephone poles sunk
in the pockets of his overcoat,

the brilliant pennants of his long red hair
waving over the stadium
where years ago he took my handoff,
bucked off guard, found the free field,
and heaved like a bison
into the end zone.

Tonight, when Quinn wove by me muttering,
I should have handed him the ball.
I should have screamed, “Go, Quinn, go!”
He would have stiff-armed the lamppost,
found the free field again,
left all in his wake to gawk

as he hit the end zone
and circled the goal posts,
whooping and laughing,
flinging the ball like a spear
over the cross-bar,
back to Iraq.

****
Visit Donal’s poetry blog here.

One comment on “Donal Mahoney: “Ash Wednesday”

  1. Donal Mahoney’s poetry is always a rewarding read. It’s great to see it on your rewarding blog!

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