Just a poem I’ve been working on, in its un-revised state. I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, and/or criticism. By the way, I’ve figured out how to single-space in WordPress! You have to hit shift+enter between lines. 🙂
This year, the candles snuffed out,
the empty iced tea pitcher tipped
by the breath of the coming storm,
and the remains of of a homemade cake
were left in the center of the warped picnic
table. I sat alone under wizened maples
with growling thunderheads
blacking the moon and stars.
Other birthdays came to mind
when the first lightning crashed
from ground to sky, thrashed
through thick clouds and beyond.
Your present’s in here, he’d say with a wink
then head off toward the garage,
a slight limp in his left stride.
When I’d follow, there’d be a bottle
of amber sitting on a workbench,
sporting a multi-colored bow
on black label with pride.
I used to crack the seal, lift the glass
to silent lips, swig a large swallow,
then slide the bottle to his side.
While family noises sounded outside,
we’d celebrate with fiery shots,
that misted and distanced us
from the burning on our minds.
This year, the lightning flashed as I
played our ritual in my mind, then
thought of the broken people
he’d left behind. I glanced at the Coke
in my hand, raised it rueful
to the sky and whispered, Thanks, buddy
as I headed inside.