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At five o'clock you'd douse the rocks
with Scoresby in a tumbler,
maybe a little water for respectability
and position yourself
in the ugly brown chair
for the numbing effect.
Night was a disappointment
because it was only
a continuation of unemployment
though you obeyed the clock
whose pointed hands attack
the limits of its circumference
by never drinking before five,
a measure as predictable
as the pulse between your fingers
that signaled for a Winston
to crush between your knuckles
until the butts stood up at right angles
in the beaded glass ashtray.
Dad, I wish for you to note
the plaintive flute of meadowlarks at dusk,
to taste the first pear of summer,
lie naked on your front lawn
clutching roses, waving at cars.
Slumped behind the wheel of your silver Lincoln
like an officer asleep at a bar,
the roses in your cheeks
were not the kind florists carry.
Lucky you brought your own.