Thursday, December 7, 2017

"Kate" by Mary Soon Lee

Kate
Mary Soon Lee

Her glass is full to brimming
but she can't take that first sip,
although they have progressed
to the main course
and only the awkwardness
of a first date
is keeping her companion
from asking why she won't drink.
But how can she drink
when that clear deep sweetness
leads straight to an empty glass?
     
And it's no good saying
she could order a second,
because it won't have the savor
of that first red swallow,
and even that first swallow
will be tainted with the knowledge
that a different wine
might have been better.
Or a different man.
Or even this man,
if only she'd found him sooner.

Poet’s Notes:  This is an entirely invented poem. I don't drink alcohol. I didn't ever go on this type of first date but I do feel sympathy for the imaginary Kate. For the record, I met my husband at university, when he was eighteen and I was seventeen. The closest we came to dating was to go together to meetings of the university science fiction club.

Editor’s Note:  I enjoy that way Mary uses the wine conceit to capture that awkward second guessing that is part of every first date, particularly in these times when online hook-ups are increasingly common. 

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