In Praise of a Glass of Water

In Memory of Jim

On the occasion of his death,
The memory comes floating back….
I was only ten and he was maybe forty,
Sitting in his kitchen,
Drinking an eight-ounce glass of water.
He preferred it straight up—
No ice cubes.
Just plain water from the tap
In a simple, ordinary glass.
“Mmm, my, that tastes good,” he said.
“Best water I’ve ever tasted.”
He sat there smacking his lips,
Then took another sip,
Letting it flow across his tongue
As though it were
A glass of finest French wine.
I don’t know if he knew
I was standing in the room, listening,
Wondering what was going on,
That someone could be so enamored
Of a glass of tepid water.
Though I can’t remember all his words,
He sat there praising what he drank
For ten minutes– my amazement growing.
Only years later, I began to wonder
Maybe Jim was praising the very moment,
Rather than just the taste of water….
Smacking his lips in the kitchen
On that hot summer afternoon.


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