March 3, 2015

Lady Goulds by Donal Mahoney

Moving from Chicago to Missouri wasn't easy
but breeding Lady Goulds kept me sane
for many years--well, almost.

I was writing then to make a living.
All day I'd rearrange other people's words.   
I needed Lady Goulds to look at 

in the evening and most weekends.
Otherwise I might have married 
some nice lady for the wrong reason.  

Right now, a canary helps me dance 
away the years or days or hours
I have to face before 

I take on a cane or walker. 
The canary calls the dawn with glee. 
Lady Goulds, you see, don't sing. 

They don't have to.
All they have to do is sit there  
as if Mondrian painted them 

or God lifted a pinkie on the 7th day. 
The beauty of the Lady Gould,
some say, is the result of evolution. 

There was no grand designer,
most scientists maintain.
The Lady Gould is one big accident 

that happened eons ago. 
I find it comforting to stare at them 
and know otherwise.

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

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