May 19, 2016

Small Backyard by Donal Mahoney

It’s a small backyard
I’ve watched for years
from an upstairs window
while chained to a computer.
Whatever the weather

the old widow was always 
planting in spring
watering in summer
raking in fall
shoveling in winter

but the yard’s quiet now
the only traffic 
a resident squirrel
heading for the oak
over the tall grass 
the widow’s heir 
has stopped mowing.

She told her son
you don’t have to garden 
but please mow the grass
rake the leaves and 
shovel the snow
or I’ll shake you
at midnight 
the rest of your life. 

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Galway Review (Ireland), The Osprey Journal (Wales), Bluepepper (Australia), Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines. Some of his earliest work can be found at


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