by Laura Baudo
No one, it seems, doesn’t have one. Mormons,
perhaps—entire families of sober devotion—
but not anyone you have had to dinner, poured wine
for, shared that cold beer on a hot day with, with
the affection particular to friends who know
there’s more to come.
It’s a predictable part of the getting to know you story.
The father remote in his rye. A mother who played bridge
in quotation marks of midday martinis. The friend
like Brady, lead character in so many good stories
of mail delivery to bars and the hairs of endless dogs.
Twenty-one years ago it was.
A crowd of us, so healthy and sober in sadness un-
surprised when the calls came months after we’d stopped
returning his, believing silence would suffice as a wake-up
call, knowing full well that it’s the man, not the sorrow,
that drowns. Calls followed by recalling the last calls
and the laughter.
The service. The printed program. The reception.
After. Nothing he would love, even when he’d been able.
The long-gone gang wondering who had abandoned whom.