Twenty-four Years Ago

by Gerald Locklin

Once each first week in December,
I used to find it de rigeurto remind myself
Why I should really quit drinking egg nogs
I’d pick an evening, preferably having just
Consumed a large, rich meal,
And then I’d down about a pint
Of rum-and-bourbon mix,
Stirred into a couple quarts of egg nog mix,
In about half an hour
After I fell into bed
I’d lie there for about a week,
Chewing wafer upon wafer of Maalox
And waiting for the concoction
To force its way from esophagus
To stomach and through the mile or so
Of twisty intestines

I only found it necessary to repeat this ritual
Once a winter, though,
For about thirty years,
And eventually, twenty-four years ago,
I gave up drinking altogether

So it can hardly be said
That I was a man,
Who took an inordinate amount of time
To learn from his mistakes