The End (of the Evening, That Is)

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Your last relative is gone –

they certainly took their time,

didn’t they? – you sit at the table,

chin on knuckles, looking

as miserable as hell – and when I

offer a sweating mug of coffee

you look up with a petulant flip

of your hair, then take it

with a sigh, sneering,


anything to be of service, I guess

I stand there, feeling like

the goof I am, eyebrows raised,

mouth open – I’d like to say

something testy but think better of it

I’m poised as if to brace

for an oncoming blow

but nothing forthcoming

you just sit there, looking into

the damn thing as if determined to

fish out something a little dirty

and a lot incriminating

you don’t find it, sigh again,

and stir the coffee with your spoon

even though you put nothing in it

I too am reduced to sighing –

I pull up and sit down to

face the consequences, such as they are

if you have words

they aren’t civil ones, no doubt

we could be here a long time

I start to whistle

your shoot me a glare,

putting a quick end to that

I tap a very tentative

reveille on the table top

knowing nothing I could say would matter,

I don’t know what to say anyhow

or even what the hell is wrong

we’ll be counting many hours

before we’ll be counting sheep

I might as well take the occasion

to settle back, study the stern beauty of your face,

and swim the molten pools

of your eyes….

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