After the Funeral

A poem by Billy Collins:

When you told me you needed a drink-drink
and not just a drink like a drink of water,

I steered you by the elbow into a corner bar,
which turned out to be a real bar-bar,

dim and nearly empty with little tables in the back
where we drank and agreed that the funeral

was a real funeral-funeral complete with a Mass,
incense, and tons of eulogies.

You know, I always considered Tom a real
friend-friend, you said, lifting your drink-drink

to your lips, and I agreed that Tom
was much more than just an ordinary friend.

We also concurred that Angela’s black dress
was elegant but not like elegant-elegant,

just elegant enough. And a few hours later
when the bartender brought yet another round

of whiskeys to our table in the corner
we recognized by his apron and his mighty girth

that he was more than just a bartender.
A true bartender-bartender was what he was

we decided, with a respectful clink-clink
of our drink-drinks, amber in a chink of afternoon light.

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