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Recliner Therapy
Donal Mahoney

He's out there again,
my neighbor, the doctor,
waiting for the snow plow 
to pass so he can jog
on a clean street.
It's 5 a.m. and we've had
three inches of snow 
and it's still coming down
but nothing can stop him.
Doc jogs every morning,
good weather or bad.
This morning we meet
because I'm out spelunking 
in the snow and the dark
for my morning paper.
Going through his warm-ups,
he invites me once again
to join him for a jog, an
invitation he extends when  
we meet on dark mornings.
As I have before, I tell him
I know I'll arrive soon enough
in Cadaverville and have
no desire to get there faster. 
Months ago, I told him
about articles in the paper
three or four times a year
indicating that another
otherwise healthy man has 
dropped dead jogging.
I tell him that's not a good thing.
One of the deceased, I mention, 
was a cardiologist like him.
Couldn't remember his name
but he was young, too, with kids.
I go on to explain that I am  
a believer in Recliner Therapy,
something I find very beneficial.
I add that I've never heard of a soul
dropping dead in a recliner 
though I admit that could happen
but so far I have seen no mention 
of such a tragedy in the paper.
Thirty years my junior at least,
this young doctor who jogs 
asks what I do for exercise
as he puffs through his warm-ups.
I tell him I push all the way back 
in my humongous recliner
at least three times a day
and wiggle my toes, grab
a Kleenex and blow my nose.
I tell him I believe in a 
holistic, head-to-toe
approach to exercise. 
The snow plow finally passes
and the young doctor chuckles,
hikes up his sweat pants
and jogs off, arms swinging,
through flakes of snow.

© by Donal Mahoney.
Used with the author’s permission.


Donal Mahoney (1938 - 2017), the son of Irish immigrants, grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He later lived in St. Louis, Missouri. Donal spent the early ‘70s actively submitting poems to print journals and enjoyed some success. He then took a 35-year hiatus from poetry to work as an editor of prose at such lofty establishments as the Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press, and Washington University in St. Louis. Upon retirement, Donal took to his recliner, and was perfectly happy reading and listening to Gregorian chant all day. After three years, however, his wife bought Donal a computer and showed him where the boxes of still-unpublished poems had been stored in the basement for many years. Thus Donal began actively submitting again in June 2008. See more of his work at




Post New Comment:
One of my favorites so far.
Posted 02/23/2014 09:15 PM
Wilda Morris:
What a fun read. Amen to the comments already made.
Posted 02/22/2014 07:41 PM
Very entertaining. I doubt the statistics are with you, though!!! Makes for a fun read, nevertheless!
Posted 02/22/2014 10:00 AM
The title pulled me right into the poem. This is a very enjoyable poem, so true to life. It even offers a new word for me to look up - spelunking.
Posted 02/22/2014 08:58 AM
love it! shared the link on my blog so others can laugh too! My favorite word; Spelunking.
Posted 02/22/2014 08:14 AM
Great poem and funny!! Nothing like a good laugh in the morning before I even get to my recliner and start exercising.
Posted 02/22/2014 07:04 AM
liz dolan:
Donal, how I love your sense of humor and your philosophy.liz
Posted 02/22/2014 06:37 AM
"Cadaverville"--brilliant! Another polished gem, Donal. Ted and I are once again in Mexico where the air is heavy with humidity, the nights a warm embrace, and we want for nothing. Except our recliners.
Posted 02/22/2014 04:58 AM

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