Poem – A Good Customer (By Donal Mahoney)

A Good Customer
I saw Al once a month
for 30 years, maybe more,
doing business together.
He retired to hunt bear 
in Alaska, hook Tarpon 
in Florida, golf in Scotland.
He had it all planned.
Nothing would stop him.
Months later I learned
doctors said he had
cancer of the blood.
The outlook was bleak.
I called Al and he said
six months, maybe a year
of chemo. No guarantees.
But he’d beat it.
A year later Al called,
said the chemo had worked.
He was cured and was
going on a trip fishing.
We agreed to have lunch
when he got back.
He said he’d call me.
Al called when he got back
but the news wasn’t good.
His blood was fine but 
doctors found a tumor,
a big one on his brain,
no way to operate, likely
malignant, more chemo.
We agreed to have lunch later.
He’d give me a ring.
We never had lunch, of course,
but I met Al’s wife at the wake
six months or so later.
She said Al had mentioned me
many times over the years.
She thanked me many times
for being a good customer.

Author Bio:

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had fiction and poetry published in various publications in the U.S. and elsewhere. Among them are The Galway Review (Ireland), The Recusant (England), The Missing Slate (Pakistan), Guwahatian Magazine (india), Bluepepper (Australia), The Osprey Journal (Wales), Public Republic (Bulgaria), and The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey). Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.comand some of his newer work at