Jan/Feb 2020 Poetry

Whiskey Neat

by Shoshauna Shy

Borrowed image

Whiskey Neat

My great-uncle's fortune
landed in my dad's lap
after his cousin got killed
by a drunk driver.
No closer heirs to capture
the windfall: cousin without
siblings nor had he spawned.
This saved my parents—
on their last plump cushion—
from threadbare subsistence
in their twilight years.
What exactly conspired
to pinch into place
this recipe for rescue
involving a crosswalk
and a driver in his stupor
stepping on the gas

who could have honored
the stoplight snapped to red
two blocks back, or paused
on the threshold to toss a quip
at pub buddies, stopped to grab
a jacket, not stopped to take
a leak, changed that order
put in for his fifth whiskey sour
to a whiskey neat?


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