On Olives and Vanilla

Photo by Helena Yankovska on Unsplash

Gin, vermouth and an olive were enough 
for my parents’ martinis. Maybe vodka 
for the token artist. Laughter, wet rings 
on the stereo and canapes from the kitchen. 
Two in the corner reviewed the news hour — 
a dozen stories read by a reassuring voice. 
We call those simpler times. No lime 
in the beer, much less vanilla. 
Some debates stayed in the church or family 
or quietly in those final days at the hospital.

Tonight there will be wasabi martinis 
and cranberry vodka. The beer will still 
be cold but my father would garble the name. 
There is no reassuring voice and no stereo, 
just a twenty-four hour news cycle 
streaming the messiahs-in-waiting
until the final moments on social media.