By Adolfo Caso
In honor of Giorgio,
But more in appreciation
For his friendship of many years—
And that of Billie Sue,
Giorgio’s favorite drink—
In our refrigerator
For Billie Sue and the rest of us
To be congenially imbibed
At our next-together,
Giorgio and Billie Sue
Neither showed up
“Here’s to Giorgio!”
I exclaimed, raising my glass of Root Beer.
“And to Billie Sue,”
Prosecco in hand.
We knew, too well that,
Our relations--as friends,
Had been wonderfully meaningful
But that it had come to an end.
“How does one let go!”
On getting no reception or acceptance
From our calls,
We made our way
To their usual spotless home,
To assure they were well.
To unlock the door
Quickly presented the answer on
Why neither answered the phone.
On turning the switch,
He marveled at the resulting light.
In the living room,
Giorgio did not extol his name
As he usually did—gleefully
About the time he grew up in Greece.
“George!” he would repeat,
As if his mother were proudly calling;
He described incidents having no intelligence.
“George…Giorgio!” he would repeat
As if his friends were likewise calling,
Their voices co-mingling with ours--
As if they were part of a story line
That went nowhere.
“Billie Sue,” Giorgio ordered,
“Drinks for our friends,”
—A glimmer of hope in his voice.
At the refrigerator:
“Prosecco, or, Root Beer.”
“Root Beer, if you have,”
I answered though my preference was prosecco.
“We have plenty of that,”
Billie Sue reported—
George was not drinking it lately.
Turning to us, she said:
“Please join us for dinner at six.
Our other friends will be there,
And will be happy to see you.”
At about six, we arrived at the restaurant.
We looked at the tables,
But George and Billie Sue were not in sight.
They had left about fifteen minutes earlier,
We were told.
On Valentine Day
(A dozen red roses in the vase),
We opened the refrigerator for drinks.
Bottles of Prosecco
And one of Root Beer filled the shelf.
I looked at the single bottle:
“George, Giorgio, where are you?
I asked in a moment of silenced panic.
With our glasses filled with Prosecco,
We drank in their memory.
On finishing the toast,
Followed by a silenced dedication:
“This rose for Billie Sue;
This one for Eunice;
This one for Anna;
And this one for Alda,
Life forms go on:
One cycle into another--
And never one,
That completes the other.
Note...Three couples have been part of our lives In a most positive way—adding quality in living and in life.
Three women and one man have advanced Alzheimer.
Writing a poem about them proved to be painful...
Dear Adolfo and Margaret...Thanks for sharing this with all of us... I know one thing though that does help...for those of us who had those friendships... We can always be thankful...for our memories... We so appreciate your sharing your memories at Book Readers Heaven! Because we can pull them into our own lives...to remember...