Alcohol by John Hurley

Ten past twelve, the phone kept ringing,
“We must catch up”, that’s what she said.
Half-asleep, I agreed to meet her.
Perhaps the past wasn’t really dead.

Then again, I began to wonder,
There had been two husbands in between.
Would I have to listen to the shortcomings
Of two men I had never seen?

I took camphor balls from an old tuxedo,
Polished black shoes until they gleamed,
Arrived at seven in the hotel foyer.
Years fell away, or so it seemed.

She swayed a little walking towards me,
No air-kissing, but a sexy hug.
Tinkling laughter and a smell of brandy,
Then almost tripped on a fireside rug.

A waiter said “Take care, señora.”
She said “Don’t be a bloody fool!”
A quick exchange of knowing glances,
He flapped his towel but kept his cool.

She said “John, it’s so nice to meet you…
You were nicer when you took a drink…
Our time together, so much laughter…
A hazy of booze, that’s what I think.

I sipped coffee, she drank branmdy,
Discomfort grew with her maudlin tears.
Decades ago, I loved this woman…
I cried inside for the wasted years.

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