Poem – Pants on Fire (By Donal Mahoney)


Rhoda, I can’t say why Amanda

was picked and not Tiffany

for anchor of our Nightly News.

I interviewed both

because Mr. Smith wanted

a woman’s opinion.

I honestly don’t know.


I made a recommendation

and sent it to Mr. Jones

who sent it to Mr. Smith

who made the final decision.

I found little difference

between the two.


A day later Mr. Smith sent Mr. Jones

a formal email with a copy to me

saying Amanda would be the anchor

and Tiffany would return

to morning news.

I’m glad it was not my decision.

I could have picked either.


Earlier in our careers, Rhoda,

you and I both did on-air TV and radio.

Now you write a media column

and I direct this program.

As women, we know

the demands of television

differ from those

of radio and print.


But I can assure you,

one woman to another,

despite what readers and viewers

may think, Amanda’s cup size

was never a factor.

Mr. Smith says if you put that

in your column, you better

believe we’ll sue.

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