Every night before he ate,
My Zayde* had a drink,
A shot glass filled up to the brim
With whiskey – rye, I think.
His hands were shaky, but I swear,
He never spilled a drop;
And while we watched him lift that glass,
All else would simply stop.
That drink would mark the passage
Of the daytime into night,
A celebration of the fact
He’d made it through all right.
That’s my interpretation,
Though it’s possible, of course,
He drank because he liked a buzz
And whiskey was its source.
No matter why he did imbibe,
I’ve kept with the tradition,
Although I lean towards beer or wine,
My drinking definition.
I sometimes think of Zayde
As I’m downing my first sip,
And think that he’d approve
As long as I don’t waste a drip.