Sipping memories like chartreuse,
we were so damn happy then,
when Indiana stopped the clock again—
snowbound, midnight, plaid pajamas
with our last name stitched in gold;
that name found and formed
by the flush face, wide grin, watery eyes
across the island, as every reference
sent you whirling through the center,
belly-laughing on your stool,
joy bursting through the roof
as you led the way toward stars.
Eat another bowl, pour another drink.
Deal another hand, laugh until you can’t.
I think we had another glass that night—
that’s what happy people do:
they sip chartreuse in matching pajamas.
From French alpines and willing hands
for the man you loved for forty years,
we even snuck it in a suitcase
and drank it at the monastery—
we had to somehow take you with us.
Now we’re trying to make it last
afraid memories run dry like bottles—
will a drop an hour do?
Some drink to celebrate,
others to remember, many to forget—
now we do the last two all at once.
That’s what sad people do:
they are emptied, even when being filled,
for gifts become voids when the giver is gone.
This poem was first published on copelandwrites.com.