A Holiday Card

Hemingway came to comment
on my progress.
Drawn to the high,
he visits when I write and drink at the same time.
How are you holding up, Sport?
And he always calls me ‘Sport’,
A simultaneous compliment and criticism.
“I’m drinking alone.”
What’s your solace?
Rum and very little coke.
That’ll work.
I smile widely to myself as it is effective.
What are you busy with?
His mouth so close to my ear,
acts as a bittersweet reality check,
so before he fades,
I shake it off with a refill.
“Come on. No false modesty.
You want to share.”
“It’s a poem for a card. A holiday card.”
Are we celebrating or enduring?
He asks, with an eye on my drink.
“I feel absolutely wonderful.
And who are you to judge?”
Simply an observation.
I enjoy coming to see you.  Often.
“Didn’t you say
poets aren’t interested in facts,
only truth?
Oh no wait…that was..”
Damn Faulkner!
“That’s right. You said poets were all crazy.”
Yes, much closer to the mark.
And you, you’re not nice.
“I suppose if I were nice,
I could drink with someone besides you.”
And then you might celebrate.
And then I might celebrate.
I repeat it softly to myself.
“But I’m not entirely bereft.”
I quickly counter, almost shouting
for as the euphoria diminishes
he slowly dissipates,
his spirit finding melancholy abhorrent.
No? What’ve you got?
“Someone to write.”
I can feel his smile through the void
as he calls back,
Enjoy the new year, Sport!

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