A Subtle Chardonnay
by Russell Rowland

We dine at leisure a European hour,
candlelight soft upon the tablecloth,
two goblet stems as thin as icicles.

Pouring, we imagine we can hear
patters of dewdrops blown by wind
off clusters ripening in Burgundy,

or Valses Nobles et Sentimentales
by Ravel—his original pour piano—
the noble you, the sentimental I.

In pointillist sparkles, what we see
might be the Water Lilies of Monet,
floating on an upside-down blue sky.

A sip and savor clears one’s tongue,
clarifies conversation, then rises by
bloodstream to the clairvoyant brain.

Outside, our neighbor spins his tires.
Cheer him on! Don’t condescend!
His team won the World Series finally.

He loves the lineup, loves his wife,
their one-eyed cat, us neighbors as
himself. But beer is his bien-aimée.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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