A Holiday Wish
by Mark Butler

Gathered around the Christmas table,
we ignored the name your doctors put to your confusion
your moods, your lapses in memory.

Instead, we put on paper crowns,
popped our party favors, offered prayers
and jokes and well-told stories.

We said nothing of the dry roast,
of the cold, stiff potatoes,
or that this was the start of it.

We opened instead a rich cabernet and
appreciated its fine holiday notes.
You laughed when it spilled down your shirt.
"I've been shot!"
More laughter, fussing,
napkins blotting.

In the lull, your eyes
moved from face to face,
seeking approval,
begging remembrance.

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