(A restaurant and bar in Fells
I like to drink alone. My favorite place to drink
is Henninger's on Bank. A shot of Vodka, neat,
a table by the wall. I face the stained glass windows
where through a broken pane the first of evening blue
enchants and glows against the drab old window frame
and muted colored glass. And then another shot.
The sky goes cobalt blue, and stars, if clear, come out.
The other patrons talk but I do not. I drink.
I go to Vodka world, I have another sip.
I love the burning taste, I am a happy man.
I drink and watch a star go clear across a pane
and guide attention up to swirling paths of light
and universal kind and gentle empathy.
Am I the only one who drinks and stares,
who watches stars go by, or even knows the stars
are visible from here, my seat against the wall.
The chipper patrons crowd and jabber, jovial,
and slap each other's backs and yell yahoo! and clap,
Hurray for you! Good work! I have another; eight.
The waitress worries me: You sure? You walking home?
I nod: I'm walking home. The hour of sadness nears,
I know it's time to go. I can't see any stars,
the stained glass window blurs, and tilts away. I pass
the rowdy crowd. They laugh. I wonder can they tell
that no one clapped for me or why I look at stars?
© Thomas Jardine
Loch Raven Review Winter 2005 Vol. I, No. 2
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