Social Justice Poetry

The Man Who Lives in the Gym | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

(St. Procopius College
Lisle, Illinois
after World War II)

The man who lives in the gym
sleeps in a nook up the stairs
to the rear. Since Poland
he’s slept there, his tools
bright in a box locked
under his bed. At noon bells
call him down to the stones
that weave under oaks
to the abbey where he

at long table takes
meals with the others
the monks have let in
for a week, or a month,
or a year or forever,
whatever the need.
The others all know
that in Poland his wife
had been skewered,

his children partitioned,
that he had escaped
in a freight car of hams.
So when Brother brings in,
on a gun metal tray,
orange sherbet for all
in little green dishes,
they blink at his smile,
they join in his laughter.

Visit Donal at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com and http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html.


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