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First Day on Parole | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Sometimes a person
can go too far,
Mickey said,
two stools over
downing another beer,
his first day on parole.
Someone like that
cops can find dead,
he said, after
newspapers start
littering the lawn.

A bullet in the temple
that no one hears
because of a silencer,
he pointed out,
is sometimes
the culprit.

Such a good person,
the neighbors say
about the deceased,
and that may be true,
Mickey admitted,
but sometimes a person,
even a nice person,
can go too far,

say the wrong thing
to the wrong person
at the wrong time
and take a bullet
in the temple,
Mickey said,
because it’s hard
to put a cobra
under a bed.

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