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John Mahoney

John Mahoney lives in the woods above Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. He practiced law as a public defender for fifteen years and continues his legal research and writing. His poems will be found published by The Monarch Review, Northwind Magazine Quarterly Review; The FutureCyclePress Poetry Anthology; The Garbanzo Literary Journal; and Rose & Thorn Journal. In the UK his poetry is published by the IMPress. John may be found on the internet through MNArts at

it was implied

it was implied
rather than stated outright,
as all these things must be
when spoken of at all,

with cousins playing in
the hayloft of the old barn
next door at the neighbors,
so the children would not hear

and I stood, looking out
the window, at the glorious
spring, unfurling in the soft
butter yellow of one crocus—

the earth giving us back our
lives, as though the prairie
winter still held the power
to carry us away in storm.

The coffee gone cold in my mug,
as I did not listen, or I did listen
but paid no attention, to the
whispered vehemence of aunts.

It was done now anyway,
as has always been done
by women everywhere,
it was implied.

Mar 1, 2012

the release of pain as three breathes exhaled

In the end, for there must always be an end,
there was not so much a coming into light

as there was a release from the light, as from
the light of waking in the night to grope for

the bottle on the bed-side table, to fumble
with the cap, child-proofed against a home

that has had no child for twenty seven years,
to shake out the pills that may not bring relief,

spill a bit of water down the side of the glass,
try to swallow the pills without their sticking

against the back of the throat and releasing their
potency to burn the soft tissue there, and then

turning off the light, to lie still, seeking release
from the glare of that light, far too well known

as an enemy and as a friend, both, for Dennis instead
there was merely the release of pain, with the

three soft breaths, exhaled, as though this could
push all of the pain out from his body, as though

in this way, at last, his body would have its release
from that pain during the long time of his dying.

Mar 2, 2012 for Dennis, who died the very night I wrote this.

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