The day four prompt at Poetic Asides was “write a departure poem.” I started off in a different place with a different idea of “departure” but wound up with this:
LIFE OF THE PARTY
No one ever wanted Markle to leave.
He was the fizz, the champagne bubbles
that couldn’t go flat. All-around best buddy
to friends and strangers alike, yet he
didn’t set the BS meters off when he appeared.
He had that laugh, sublimely infectious,
and his jokes sounded fresh, even the old ones,
and ribald without sounding dirty.
His deep voice carried without piercing
the white din membrane of party buzz,
an enticing distraction. He drank
buckets without getting sloppy drunk,
spoke up and spoke out plenty,
but never pontificated, broke up fights
but never started one. Always arrived stag,
which gave both ladies and guys hope,
whether they’d arrived with first dates
or significant others.
When Markle departed, the slow leak
took its toll. Guests sipped ice-diluted cocktails
and checked their watches. Indifferent
couples searched each other out, disgruntled
to be leaving with the original partner.
Host, hostess cleared away crumbs
and picked-over platters, rinsed out bottles,
turned off the music; sipped coffee
alone in the kitchen without speaking
while stragglers wandered the emptied rooms
as if they’d just come to
and couldn’t figure out where they were.
By the way, I don’t know this guy, probably never did. Haven’t been to this kind of party in, I guess, decades. Maybe I wish he’d been there.