Mixing Manhattans in Heaven

When skies drizzle over Baltimore,
I taste bourbon in the air, and know
my parents are drinking Manhattans—two each—
in a bistro in another realm,
where ice cubes like stars clink into night;
maraschino cherries dazzle the winter-weary earth.

After cocktails, my father leads the choir, blends
a bevy of languages into song. My mother
crochets a pearl afghan every angel covets.
My parents lounge, share a cloud,
reminisce about how they met at a bus stop
in the spring of 1940.

I want one more happy hour with them,
a wedge of time to toast their light, the way
they shape this new green season.


Shirley J. Brewer
The Cortland Review, 2012
Bistro in Another Realm, 2017

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In Bistro in Another Realm, award-winning Baltimore poet Shirley Brewer offers fresh insights into the different realms of being human. Brewer will be reading selections from her new book at The Ivy Bookshop ~ Wednesday, August 2, 2017 – 7:00pm.  The Ivy Bookshop is located at 6080 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209.  For more information about this reading event, visit The Ivy Bookshop.