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Family Picnic | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

You’re not normal.
You never were.
Even in kindergarten
the nun had to call
your parents about
the way you ruined
worksheet after worksheet
putting spots on zebras.
You hated stripes.

Now miles into the jungle
of your dotage, why grouse
about family coming to town
wanting to go on a picnic
before the night game.
They’re only being normal.
They have no problem with ants
peppering the potato salad.
Why not tell them yesterday

the doctor said you have gout
and you plan to watch the game
on TV in your recliner,
foot propped. Maybe you’ll
see them in the stands while
the Cardinals pound the Cubs,
something as certain as
the Second Coming, something
the kids from Chicago already know.

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