Adam Mish

the stillness amidst the spinning

I heard the crinkle
of the paper bag and then
the sound of glass
on Uncle Jerry's dining room table
   me my father and him
all around it
and the light was dull and
the walls
didn't match the mood
   two men and a teenager
shot for shot for a number of shots
that nobody could remember   my father left
first and went upstairs to bed
never quite tripping
never quite landing his feet where he intended them
   Uncle Jerry
several shots later lay asleep
or something like it
under his dining room table
and the light
and the walls of the room
didn’t change
   I sat there alone
victorious   but only just
and I saw the door
that led to the kitchen   everything spinning
until it all became very still   aware
of the stillness amidst the spinning   very aware
I was the last one awake
which I usually liked   but tonight
I understood it in a different way


24 years later
Uncle Jerry's dining room table is mine

and now I sit at it
last one at the table
after dinner   drinking a beer
getting to the bottom
Kiddo playing with his toys
under Uncle Jerry's old table


but tonight
just one beer tonight
just one

all poems

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