Like Father Like by Donal Mahoney

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Like Father Like

Strapped to his bed
in the nursing home,
he tells every nurse
who comes in
and tightens his straps
his trouble started

in first grade when
he’d make a mistake
reciting the alphabet
in the kitchen for Mother
while Father in the parlor
waited for an error

and then dragged him
down the basement
and made him stand
in a tub of hot coals
plucked from the furnace
until he was able

to recite his letters
without error and then
Father would take him
upstairs to Mother who
put salve on his feet
so he could recite

his letters all over again,
this time without mistake
which Father pointed out,
decades later in the same
nursing home, was proof
his boy had learned a lesson.

Donal Mahony

Donal Mahoney, nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found by clicking here… 

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