Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Guwahatian Magazine (India), The Galway Review (Ireland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Osprey Review (Wales), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines. Some of his work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.dpbs
A Nice Roast Every Sunday
Bill would come every Sunday to his mother’s house after a tough divorce. He'd bring his laundry for his mother to do and then he’d devour the roast beef dinner she always made for him. Afterward, he would watch martial arts on TV. He didn’t talk much but Beverly was happy every minute he was there. She was lonely the rest of the week. She could hardly wait for Sunday to come.
Beverly is 83 and buying that roast every week took a chomp out of her pension check. But as she has told herself many times, Bill is 52 and has child support to pay and payments on his new condo.
His former wife got everything in the settlement of the divorce--the house in the country, the cars and the horses. Beverly knows how much Bill loves horses. But what bothers her the most is the judge who said Bill can't see his kids without a caseworker present. Beverly doesn't know why the judge said this and Bill won't talk about it.
But life changed for Beverly one morning when she was out walking her pug. She fell on the ice and broke her hip. It was a compound fracture that would take a long time to heal, especially on a woman her age and weight.
A month later an ambulance brought Beverly home and the neighbor ladies came out to greet her. Her daughter, Ella Mae, was there as well. She had come in from out of town to help until Beverly was able to get around—first on a walker, then on crutches and finally on a cane. Beverly knows she will have to use a cane the rest of her life but that's better than a wheelchair.
The odd thing is, there was no sign of Bill while his mother was recuperating. He didn’t call her in the hospital or at the rehabilitation center or at home. Beverly didn’t talk about Bill with her daughter but she did tell the neighbor ladies he had a new job and worked a lot of overtime and weekends. How did she know this to be true?
Maybe it’s fortunate Beverly didn’t mention this to her daughter because Ella Mae has seen her brother’s car parked outside the bowling alley in town. There’s a good chance the neighbor ladies may have seen Bill there as well on the night the ladies bowl in the Senior Women’s League. If they have, they haven't mentioned that to Beverly. They’re her friends and she doesn't need anything more to worry about.
Right now, though, Beverly has high hopes. She told the ladies she wants to be much better by the time Bill gets a vacation. She wants to make a nice roast beef dinner for him and take care of his laundry. As she told the ladies, what's a mother for.