Monday, May 25, 2015

Donal Mahoney - The Canyon Dwellers / Yowling

The Canyon Dwellers

There’s this canyon 
between two cliffs
and Tim Boyd has a foot
planted on each cliff.
He’s spread-eagled 
but very steady.

He's been stretched
over the canyon since 
he got back from Iraq.
After he took his position,
he thought someone 
would eventually look up.

There are others
spread over the canyon
in front of Tim. 
They’ve been there
since Viet Nam and
getting a bit wobbly.

In back of Tim
are the new arrivals
spread-eagled as well.
They’re fresh from
Afghanistan and they're
getting their feet set. 

The rest of us below
have jobs and are busy
with families and lives. 
When a canyon dweller falls 
and makes a terrible mess, 
we find the time to look up.


Ed's wife found a sinkhole
in the yard a year ago
a foot wide, several feet deep

and she wanted it filled.
No problem said Ed.
The sinkhole is hidden 

behind a big bush 
next to their garage.  
Sometimes a feral cat, 

good as its eyes may be,
falls into the hole at night,
never to come out.

The yowling can go on
longer than a week.
Neighbors around 

Ed’s stockade fence 
ask where the yowling
is coming from and Ed 

asks them if they
have a cat in heat.
They always say no

and the questions stop.
Meanwhile, feral cats, 
once a plague in Ed's yard,

no longer crouch
in the foliage and leap 
to pluck robins and 

cardinals out of the air.
Birds can worship now
at Ed’s suet and feeders, 

wipe their beaks in peace,
serenaded at times
by the yowling.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He writes poetry and fiction. Some of his earliest work can be found at

No comments:

Post a Comment