Twin Girls, 1948 by Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney | June 9th, 2016 | a poem a day challenge, poetry | No Comments

Beth was always different
marching as she did
to an armless drummer.

Her sister Kate marched
to another drummer,
one with arms on certain days

but never with a drum
that caught the sticks Kate
kept in the air flailing.

When the girls were young
their mom and dad took them out
for walks on Sunday

afternoons in summer.
The girls waved to butterflies
but never to anyone else.

It was hard for other kids
peering from porches
to understand the problem.

When the twins were small
they didn’t call it autism.
It had no name on my block.

Now the illness has a name
and different medications
that sometimes temper

but never cure.
The girls are women now
old and living in a big home

with others in a small band
some still playing instruments
no one else can see.

Poet Bio

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His work has appeared in various publications, including Guwahatian Magazine (India), The Galway Review (Ireland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines in the United States.

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