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A Winter Buffet
Donal Mahoney


January day
not a leaf left

on this skeleton 

tree teeming 

with sparrows
chirping and hopping

branch to branch 

waiting for the deck
feeder to be free of 

cardinals and jays 

bickering for seed
while on the floor

four doves

stroll in silence
feasting on spilled 

seed near the railing

where a fat squirrel 
sits with its tail high 

in a question mark

ready to dive 

and scatter them all

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


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. A native of Chicago, he 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 After three years, however, his wife bought Donal a computer and showed him where the boxes of still-unpublished poems had been stored in the basement for many years.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. Some of his work since then can be found here; more can be seen at


Post New Comment:
Love this!!!
Posted 01/16/2016 11:18 AM
quite a vision
Posted 01/15/2016 10:11 PM
Michael Escoubas Observed this many times when I fed black-oil sunflower seeds to birds that came into my backyard. Thank you Donal!
Posted 01/15/2016 11:04 AM
As soon as you mentioned it, I could see the question mark in my mind! Nice!
Posted 01/15/2016 09:18 AM
ed werstein:
Great work as usual, Donal.
Posted 01/15/2016 08:35 AM
Good wife! Also loved you poems on New Verse.
Posted 01/15/2016 05:47 AM
apt description...nice poem!
Posted 01/15/2016 03:02 AM

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