Poem – Dial ‘M’ for Memories (By Donal Mahoney)

Willie in his 80s now
hadn’t made sense in years.
His wife understood his
grunts from the recliner
where she propped him up
till bedtime where snoring
was music in the night.

His grandson told neighbors
Gramps had Old-Timer’s Disease,
an excellent diagnosis
with which doctors agreed.
It was time to move Gramps
to a home so his wife began
packing things he would need.
It was then she found
an old photo in a drawer
under his socks and shorts.
It was dated 1948, still clear
though crinkled a bit.

It was Gramps’ class photo
from his 8th-grade graduation.
All the young faces were suns
gleaming in their own universe.
She showed it to Willie when
she brought him his lunch.
He blinked and pointed to a girl
in the third row and said,
“Call Carol and tell her
we’re going to the movies.
Tom Mix and 25 cartoons.”

His wife was old enough
to remember that a Western
and 25 cartoons were a
regular Saturday matinee
at the local film house
for kids in 1948.
But she was two years
behind Willie and had
never gone with him.

Besides she was still shook
just to hear Willie talk.
This was the first sentence
he had offered in years.
She didn’t know what to say.
Finally she said she didn’t
know what Carol’s number was
so how could she call?
Willie looked her in the eye
with a twinkle from long ago
and said “Prospect 6-3943.”



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 and some of his newer work at