Thursday 23rd December 2010, A. Palmer
It is tradition, and those three words were enough,
for my old lady to allow me, when younger, and her old man
(even though I could scarcely stand the stuff)
to share a drink at this time of year if I swore not to scuff
my new shoes before dinner, or fill my gut
with penny sweets and pecans and perish her plan,
and upon agreements to a second glass, rescind.
I’m older now, no longer needing permission, but age
hasn’t shaved the struggle of sizing my swigs
more in line with his. I conclude we’re on a different carol page
when it comes to choosing the ideal yuletide beverage to assuage,
unless we sit and laugh until we’re three quarters-cut,
waiting for the turkey and the blankets in pigs.
Yes, he loves our Christmas drink, so pinned
by convention as each breath hurries after the one before,
rising through the salty mist that clings
to the arthritic fingers of the shivering trees, I pour
a generous shot of Bell's or four
through the frost that lies at the foot
of where it reads ‘dearly loved Grandad’ and things,
and blame a tear upon the wind.