One Day and Then Twenty-Three Years

One day in utter despair, or per-
haps just feeling extraordinarily
sorry for himself not that that
would be so terrible, but it might
put it in a little less dramatic or
melodramatic or schmaltzy poetic
terms, he drank an especially large
quantity of bottom shelf bourbon
(or was it the good stuff purchased
for him by his sister as medicine
to help him heal or at least numb
him from the sudden, irrevocable
loss?), made his way from the
kitchen to the garage, climbed in
the car, started the engine and
fell asleep. Upon waking, he said
to himself, that didn’t work and
went to bed. The next morning
he went back to the task of caring
for the flock. Twenty-three years,
(found love, lost sentimentality,
discovered gratitude, appreciated
friends, did therapy, acknowledged
the real despair that was there) later,
he still aches some, but who doesn’t,
and in that moment looked out the
window and saw the robin looking
furtively for his mate and seeing
her went to her so they might
fly away together and he thought,
that sounds kind of schmaltzy
poetic, so how about “we won’t
fly away but at least we will go
visit the kids in distant cities”
which gives them an excuse to
travel with their chocolate lab.

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