The Drinking Circle

First his father leaves.
His mother leaves him
her empties for playthings
gleaming in the Florida sun.

His little row boat bobs on the lake
like a wine cork. Wind
in his face makes a thirst.
Every fish he pulls in gleams

like a bottle. At last call
he drains another job to the dregs.
Two wives, two sons, his only book
of poems flicker and dim.

At the end he cradles his cat,
swirls vodka and Crystal Lite together,
sees in the bottom of the glass a lake, a boat
and a boy, baited and hooked.

(Accepted for publication in Chantarelle’s Notebook, 2011)