Blinking Like Ferrets
by Donal Mahoney
Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press, McDonnell Douglas Corp. (now the Boeing Corp.) and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Orbis (England), Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor, Revival (Ireland), The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), The Davidson Miscellany, Gloom Cupboard (U.K.), The Common Ground Review, Public Republic (Bulgaria) and other publications.

I have been too busy

the last two years to talk

to anyone in the office.

Today, however, I pause

at the pencil sharpener and smile

while my fellow workers

calculate and jot.

It makes no difference, you see,

if I remain silent

until retirement

or if suddenly I start talking again.

All we have to remember is

that we decay together,

that this charade we give ourselves to

doesn't require that we speak,

that all we must do, really,

is calculate and jot.

If we calculate well,

if we jot well,

the charade will carry us through.

In the end, we'll see what is true

when blinking like ferrets

emerging in sunlight,

we're free of this maze created

by the family of man.

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