Monday, January 13, 2014

Whiskey and Cigarettes at the End

Winter drizzle, a hill cemetery, open,
naked but for the stumps of stone
arranged in neat precise lines,
or laid haphazardly depending
upon the desire of the deceased,
and will of the living.
Jackstraw pines separate the hill from the road,
mostly dead or dying from exhaust fumes
and oil slicked runoff.
On a path at the bottom of the hill
a small white-headed man pushes
a smaller white-headed woman in a wheelchair.
He stops at a bench, turns her toward the stones,
lights a cigarette for her, hands her a flask, settles onto the bench.
Sitting still, waiting patiently, they are dressed for the weather,
as if they intend to wait for a change.
The old places are all deserted, the old times are all abandoned.
What remains are a few faces, the flavor of tobacco and whiskey,
food is a necessary evil like using the toilet and clipping toenails.
The business that remains is more than just letting go,
it is tearing loose from what is left of the grand possibility –
what was made and what became of it.

Open link night at the Pub


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and have so often see these two souls lingering..I am loving your necessary evils and the business of letting go of cigarettes and whiskey of life and memory...bkm

  2. A thought provoking piece...viewing life as a grand possibility... tearing loose from all those ill founded expectations perhaps...when what counts is his lighting her fags...would we think better of him if he were peeling her an apple or offering her a bottle of pellegrino. I wouldn't...but that's me . I enjoy your poems.

  3. I like how you set the scene, the cemetery, winter, to deceased these two have a lot, each other, and plus they alive ~ thought provoking write about what really matter in life.