1981 Chardonnay


i’m ninety-one today.

Joni and bob


came to see me
in the home


where they insist i

must be happy.


the kids didn’t come

joni thought they might

throw up and ruin


their pretty little christmas,

my skin’s stretched thin,
my eyes shrunken back
into my skull. they


were both so anxious
to leave — must be


a big party tonight —

or maybe
i’m just feeling sorry

for myself again.


who knows? (who cares?)

now i’m alone again —
with my thoughts again.


beside my bed, i still

have the pictures


you took of me just

before you died
and the mount eden

chardonnay you


asked me to save for a
very special day.


under my pillow i’ve

hidden the book of


poems you wrote for me,
for madeline giboin.
i can’t read them any

more, my eyes.


but that’s all right —
they’re my litany.
my book of common

and one shouldn’t need

eyes for those.


(hey, you’re never too

old to rock ‘n’ roll!)


i’m ninety-one today.

but i still sing


spem in alium as they

wheel me into the


dayroom to watch

reruns of


“dougie howser.” and

when night comes,
the moon will lie her

frail head beside my


pillow and watch my

fingers playing bach—
on the blue chambray
sheets by my side.



1981 Pinot Noir
1990 "Old Vine Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon