I sit in the garden to think
she sits in the kitchen to drink
from the bottle of gin
hidden under the sink
didn’t know that I knew
but
I help myself to a few in those moments of stress
when it seems that the more becomes less, the more you imbibe.

I go inside to find she has slunk to the floor
drunk so much more than a bottle or two
I must do
what I promised to do
to have and to hold to care for until old
and though I’ve told her I know
she’ll still drink when I go
away from her side.

She did try to hide it
denied it
but she just couldn’t win
the giveaway was
empty bottles overflowing, that dripped from the bin and the glasses I found hidden underneath chairs.
I said to her somebody cares and that somebody’s me, but she couldn’t see it was so.
So I’ll go
and she’ll drink
never stopping to think of the damage it does
to me or to her.
Still
I do care
it’s the contract we made and I’ll care ’til the day that I lay her to rest.

She says,
‘it’s best not to worry there’s
no hurry for that
but when she’s flat on the floor with bottles galore,all empty
it tempts me to think
that I too will drink ’til I can’t drink no more and join my little darling
down there on the floor.
Life,
I ask
what is it for,
a tour around breweries
to stand before a jury of my peers,
to drink even more beers
to say cheers and depart?
A drink never mended a broken heart or stopped tears from falling
the barman’s calling time
and time for another,
one for the road
which goes on and on ’til the pain has all gone
and she sleeps.

copyright © John Smallshaw all rights reserved
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