Touch: The Journal of Healing


Back to Iraq

    by Donal Mahoney

I saw Quinn again tonight,

first time in years, sailing the streets,

weaving through people,

collar up, head cocked,

arms like telephone poles sunk

in the pockets of his overcoat,

the brilliant pennants of his long red hair

waving over the stadium

where years ago he took my handoff,

bucked off guard, found the free field,

and heaved like a bison into the end zone.

Tonight, when Quinn wove by me muttering,

I should have handed him the ball.

I should have screamed, “Go, Quinn, go!”

He would have stiff-armed the lamppost,

found the free field again,

left us all in his wake to gawk

as he hit the end zone

and circled the goal posts,

whooping and laughing,

flinging the ball for all of us

over the cross-bar, back to Iraq.

© 2010 Donal Manoney

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO.  He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis.  He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, CommonwealPublic Republic (Bulgaria), Gloom Cupboard (U.K.), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Touch: The Journal of Healing, Pirene's Fountain (Australia), and other publications.


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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