April 20, 2009

Every April 19th is Tio Juanito’s birthday, with
many inappropriate ways to celebrate, he fails
–– to see it’s a new day

Trying to mask the sadness at hand, he orders
music, food, liquid solace and guests

He starts out fine, but by twelve at night, he can
barely walk as he takes himself outside

He only sees another year gone by,
full of misfortune, tears and sighs

He thinks – all he has to look at,
are regrets, fears and lies

He says, “All I need is a good woman,
to keep me balanced – and alive”

I say – what he really needs
is an encounter with Adonai

I know – every morning he tries, but
by the evening – he’s just fried

He thinks – he can stop on his own
...I just don’t know

He needs – to give up his bottle,
in 64 years he still hasn’t hit rock bottom

So round and round his story goes
until the last bottle is gone –
or this poem becomes a prose


Now every July since 2005,
I think of him and how he died

Not a pretty sight,
considering his plight

He chose to drink till the bitter end
but even so, I'm hoping, he's with Hashem

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