On gray days when clouds make
the sky too close and distant thunder
warns of lightning and wind,
when hours have passed without
another human voice, not even
a phone solicitor trying to guilt me
into a donation, I find
myself missing red wine
in a Waterford glass or rum punch
in a tall tumbler. Thirty years ago
in melancholy times or a lull,
from the shelter of the screened patio
watching the storm organize and ripple
the pool, I swirled a snifter
with apricot brandy under my nose.
To Smirnoff and Kahlua, I could turn,
or sweet vermouth on ice, let the heat
start in my belly and rise to my shoulders,
easing all aches and making me
forget what I missed.
Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (PenguinPutnam). Her poetry has appeared in Slant, The MacGuffin, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Adanna Literary Journal, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.