kelly mcdonough

two poems

Last Meal 

Over dinner, drops of death.

I’ve put poison in his soup.

We ate like kings and queens,

But his heavy crown did droop.

 

Arsenic in the sugar bowl,

And antifreeze in the tea.

I made a meal of broken promises 

And fed him misery.  

 

There’s a score to settle,

And he’s overpaid his share

Now there’s a death cap in his salad

For the bruises that I wear. 

 

Bitter on the tongue,

His words hit me like a slap.

Second scoops of cyanide,

When I served them back.

 

To make it fair and final

I ate the meal myself. 

We vowed to be together

Through sickness and in health.  


 

Travelling

 

I. 

A trio of destiny; 

Spin, measure, snip. 

Guarding the door to darkness. 

Valar Morghulis 

All men must die. 

But we are not men; 

Sisters - stand together, rise.  

  

II. 

Grey towered sepulcher, 

A lady with no voice. 

Tangled in weaving artificial life 

Making friends in cyberspace - 

Screen name Shalott.  

  

III. 

Narcissus in a shallow pool, 

Absinthe under a streetlight, 

Drowning in our vices 

No stopping to wonder why. 

Self-oblivion makes a familiar story, 

Babylon revisited.  Creators of our own destruction 

  

IV. 

Vulcanalia won’t spare you the fire, 

Sacrificing innocents won’t still the hands of fate. 

Sifting through the rubble, 

Dusting off old sins. 

Pompeii was a warning 

Not to pick them up again.  

  

V. 

The passion of the thing 

Must in the poem be shown. 

Reflected with intent, 

Paired with purpose, 

No scribbling of the superficial. 

Are we not men?  Follow the laws of Moreau. 

These are the words that heal; these are the words that wound. 

Masters of words woven economically,  

A sword with a double edge.     

  

VI. 

The dead walk among us 

Wandering down Wall Street. 

Hollow men stuffed in suits, 

Making choices to build or ruin. 

Tyrants in dark rooms 

Ending the world on the whimper 

Of crushed bodies underfoot. 

  

VII. 

An albatross about your neck 

To remind you to respect 

Nature’s law is definite. 

Life-in-Death is a fine line, 

Tread carefully. 

Take only what you need.  

  

VIII. 

Lonely Mortals, palely loitering 

Bonds must be fought for. 

Vagabond Psyche, a searching soul. 

Purified by passion, strengthened through trials 

Triumph of the underworld, 

Love lost and found again.  

  

IX. 

Magazines and T.V. screens 

Tell you how you’re wrong. 

Salem women disagree. 

“Cosmetics are the cure.” 

Persecuted for perfection, 

Outcast for contradiction, 

The pastorate fears your power. 

12 May, 2021

Kelly Marie McDonough is a two-time cancer survivor, avid reader, and makeup enthusiast. She is working on building her poetry portfolio and is influenced by Poe and Anne Sexton. Murder, madness, and literary references are her passion. She is a graduate from Southern New Hampshire University and works customer service for a call center. She lives in Illinois with her supportive husband and their four mischievous cats. Her poetry will be published in the upcoming issues of The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Poetically Mag, The Magazine, WriteNowLit, Mid-Heaven Magazine, and Fevers of the Mind, Unique Poetry.com, and Perennial Press.