Champagne Baths
by John Grochalski

for some
heart-shaped beds
and champagne baths in the poconos
are the height of romance

for my mother
it was her missed honeymoon

she’s been harboring
some desire for the place for forty years

but we’re trying to talk about new orleans

i’m blindly telling my old man
about all of the places they should go
if they can afford it for their anniversary

while my parent’s lifelong friends
are showing them their own pictures
of a trip to the poconos

the kisses by the lake
the pink foam of those romantic champagne baths

they’re shoving pictures at my mother
saying, see what you’ve been missing
for all of those years?

and i wonder when it is
that lifelong friendships
become ignorant and insensitive

the old man and i
stop talking about new orleans
because of the distraction

i think he winks at me
like he knows something that i don’t know

for a second i’m hopeful
but i’m probably wrong

then we watch my mother
as she continues to look at those pictures
wistful and red-faced

the ones of cabins
in the pennsylvania woods

lush green mountains

and those fireplaces
that burn year round

like eternal beacons
calling to the expectant heart.

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