Monday, November 2, 2020

Memorial Barrooms by Julene Tripp Weaver

Barrooms are mythic, they stood 

prominent in my uncle’s life, 

a second home to go off to—

no explanation necessary—

how I envied his freedom to walk out.

I imagined he went to memorialize 

his dead mother and father, his grandmother, 

those he cared for till they died. He liked a good

Manhattan, gave me a sip with advice,

never drink more than two.

For a while I found myself out with uncle 

in barrooms, he escorted me for company, 

but unlike him they never stuck, 

for I could not grieve like he did.

Emboldened, I learned to walk

away. When I moved three thousand 

miles from home he could not understand 

the lesson he taught.

Julene Tripp Weaver is a therapist and writer in Seattle. Her book, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and won the Bisexual Book Award. Her work is widely published in journals and anthologies, including: MookyChick, HIV Here & Now, Mad Swirl, Stonewall Legacy Anthology, and forthcoming in The Pandemic Anthology, and Poets Speaking to Poets: Echoes and Tributes. 

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