For Barb

For Barb

a trail of wispy blue smoke
snakes toward the ceiling     undulates
with Sade's sultry-smooth voice
yellow candle-glow
lights the darkened room
the thin moon illuminates
beads of melted wax
dripping down
I watch them harden
in slow-motion

I think     of my friend     Barb
vivacious     talented     beautiful
full of charm and wit
wasted away in a bottomless
well of alcohol

each month
she withdrew more and more
into herself
slowly severing her ties
with friends
she never returned calls
only ventured out
to make late night runs
for her liquid fix

the last time I saw her
I held her close     but knew
there was no return
for her

the candle     now     a rosy stub
in its glass holder
reflects her auburn hair
the flame flickers     sputters wildly
then     goes out

© David Cawood


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djc
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