i drank with that man
for a year and a half
from the first spring night
warm enough for me
to be sitting outside
smoking, sipping by my lonesome
on a stout
until he, all vodka-twisted,
gouty knees, elbows akimbo,
tumbled out of next door
caught wind of my cig
and hove on over to bum one

i drank with that man
by night and by day
the calendar ’round
and on into last fall
when the graveyard work i’d done
for ten years and then some, it finally
fully, physically, ground me down such
that i had to quit and get gone
and lord was he sore when i said so long
scared, i’d say, of being alone –
why, anybody’d think we was lovers

you guessed it, yeah
i drank with that man
again last month after half a year
of gettin myself together
elsewhere and otherwise employed
drove three hours to sit with him
stayed three days, just like old times
for the first two
then, that third day, i did not drink
but sat with him while he did
and was i ever surprised

i’m never drinking with that man again!
he turns into a horrible toad
first he gets to thinking he’s funny
when nothing he says is
then he starts picking fights
which he always thinks he wins
he brags and rants and raves and rages
right down to the bottom of the bottle
and cusses you for calling it a night
when he wants more more more
how did i not see it before?