An Unfortunate Remark – by Donal Mahoney


The old couple sits in recliners
after dinner the way old couples do
and she tells him what she saw
in the yard that first warm day
and it’s crocuses  and daffodils 
no tulips yet but she knows 
tulips will pop any day 
and he listens because there 
might be a quiz but then
she sees the gun in his lap 
and she asks why it’s there
and he says it’s in case 
she repeats the remark 
she made the night before 
because this time he’ll shoot 
the words out of the air 
quicker than a pheasant
in hunting season and 
blood will splatter 
on the ceiling and walls 
because this time she won’t 
put a hole in his heart as she 
did last night and maybe 
the two of them can return 
to who they were before 
she spoke and he survived,
hanging on to life.
Donal Mahoney
Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in various publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at

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