I try to look at simple things and extract their essence. In this instance it's the last drop of liquid in the cup.
How many times, occupied with ringing phones, converging projects all demanding to be done ... NOW ... how many times I absently lifted the cup and received two surprises: the unexpected emptiness of the cup, and then the suddenness of that last, single drop plopping onto my tongue.
I think this poem works on two levels.
On the surface, it's a descriptive passage of an event so minor that it's almost beneath writing about, yet will stir a bit of recognition from some readers, an acknowledgment that, yes, I've experienced that.
It also works as a metaphor for endings. How we cling to the memory of that which has just ended, how we hold on to the memories of those things which brought us to this ending.
"Like That" was originally published in Palo Alto Review, an honor in itself. Then the editors nominated it for Pushcart Prize honors.
Eventually, it became part of Hollyhocks, a second collection of my poems, published in 2007 by Finishing Line Press.
when you think
the cup is empty
but you lift it
tilting it toward
and a solitary drop
off the bottom,
onto your tongue
so now you really taste
the flavor of it,
than the rest
of what you've drunk,
and it quenches
the thirst of memory,
because there is
(originally published in Palo Alto Review)
Today's word: bounding