Poetry by Patricia Mahon


She lived for 20 years across the street
With her husband James
A tough, WWII vet from the Bronx
That she buried last Christmas
“Husband Number Two”
She would say, as she looked down and away
In disappointment and disbelief
At a life that kept leaving her
Completely alone.

She played her piano
And pulled her trash cans
In and out each Tuesday
Until she could no longer
Compromise the curb
And knew it was time to “downsize”
The modern way, to give things away
To rough men from the Salvation Army
That took her rugs and her shoes
Her electric heater and kitchen table
To a waiting truck already packed with
Her green refrigerator.

They slammed the door closed
On the very last load
Of all that is Joan
Now a bulk shipment
To a downtown thrift shop
To be picked through and sold.

She left for the last time
With a single box and a portrait
Of James in an easy chair
By that red, raspberry lamp
That lit up her living room
For most of her life
Now left for a scavenger
By the blue “Rent Me” bin
To never warm-up a shade
Or light up a window


When they were certain
No one was watching
My mother and father
Would dance
In the kitchen.
He would masterfully
She would graciously
To Doris Day on the Philco radio
Que Sera Sera
Across the linoleum
A Sentimental Journey
In a pressed shirt and crepe blouse
Moving corner to corner
Across clean, geometric floors
Harvest gold and avocado walls
Transistor lines
Their young eyes
To the time of their lives
Before houses and kids
And endless packs of cigarettes
Before paper covered walls
And the wet, boozy kiss
Before all the metaphors
Of 1956.


There is a woman named Kitty
Who walks our neighborhood
In old cork clogs that she drags
Along the street.

She never recalls a name
Or precisely the day
But she remembers high school
And the cutest of three brothers
That took her to Vegas one night in summer
But left her at the corner
Of Koval and Flamingo
For a large-busted show girl
He called Sephora.

Kitty drinks wine in the late morning
In that big house where she was born.
Her father’s clothes in the closets
And half-feral cats in the yard
Her mom passed in a back room
Leaving her three antique cars
And a green canoe covered in tarps
And one new, white Hyundai.

Kitty lives life there in the shadow
Of overgrown trees and amber glass windows
That cast distorted reflections as she moves to and fro
With her glasses of Pinot and bottles of sadness
And her incontinent dog she calls
My Romeo.

Also by Patricia:

Stories from the Age of Distraction is a commentary on the revolutionary technologies of our time and their inevitable impact on human interaction. It is a call-to-arms to defend life’s every day poetry and verse. As the titans of world literature whisper across its pages, we witness a story-within-a story that re-connects us to art, self-expression, and modern romanticism … so we can claim the dynamic vernacular of our day.


Patricia Mahon-14-Edit(2)SMALLPatricia Mahon is an award-winning poet, screenwriter, playwright, and a former teaching fellow and writing instructor at several major universities, including Tulane and the University of Denver. She is the author of four original screenplays, two collections of poetry, and several musicals and original songs. Mahon won the Scottish International Open poetry prize for her poem Descending Sinai, along with numerous screenwriting honors. Her three-act stage play The Abbey Yard was produced in Los Angeles in 2000, and is the basis for The Abbey, Volume 2 of her new Age of Distraction series.

Mahon is a graduate of New York’s Manhattanville College and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She also studied poetry at Oxford University in England, under the tutelage of noted Yeats scholar A.S. Knowland. A native of New York with dual Irish/American citizenship, Mahon currently resides in Los Olivos, California.



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