The Poet Community

Father the Chameleon | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Father the chameleon was lime green
the first day I saw him peering into
my crib smiling and he remained

lime green until kindergarten
when a nun called the house and said
I was disrupting the class and would

he come and have a talk with her.
He remained wildfire red until
the college he paid big money to

expelled me as a senior for sending
chickens clucking in big crates
to a French professor who gave me

a B instead of an A, thereby killing
my chance for an Ivy League law school.
When I got home and told Father

his face glowed purple as eggplant
and he began taking huge pills
day and night, even when a small

law school finally gave me a chance.
The day I passed the bar exam Father
was whiter than his pills in his coffin.


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