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Flinty and Callused | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

In the miner’s shack
the vase on the dresser
squats beneath
a giant cactus
planted by hands
flinty and callused.

“When Mona was here,
this vase got roses,
and lots of water.
After she left
I gave it this cactus.
It never needs water.”

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Donal Mahoney spent most of his life in Chicago, the son of Irish immigrant parents. He lives as an expatriate now in St. Louis, Missouri, owing to what was once a long search for work. Discovering Biscuits and Sausage Gravy made the transfer easier. More about him can be found at http://philadelphiareviewofbooks.com/2012/07/25/meeting-dad-again/.


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