The earthy gravity of Seamus Heaney’s poems
and the sweet taste of John Powers whiskey
mixed with a few foot-surgery Percocets
could explain the face droop I feel, the heavy
shallow breaths, but on top of the dumb-slow
hours of pain and recovery, it was the blind
pick-up (no caller ID) and the pace and tone
of my niece’s voice that foretold the tale
ahead of the words: her father, the Little
Hungarian, had left to find my sister, his
Bull-headed Irish lover (gone now for not
quite a year) and tend the roses of their garden
in paradise. And however you want to spin it,
your metaphor about what happens after
we die, I can testify to their story here,
a love story for over half a century, one glass
half-empty, one glass half-full, they were
a team who’d thrown in together for better
or worse. It was a hell of a ride. True opposites.
They never gave up on each other. Call it
love, commitment, ignorance, or fear.
Call it what you want. Year after year
they kept trying to keep a full-glass together.
The meaning of life is in the living.