Rumblings in the soul


The Drink
by Ron Padgett

I am always interested in the people in films who have just had a drink

thrown in their faces.

Sometimes they react with uncontrollable rage,

but sometimes—my favorites—they do not change their expressions at

Instead they raise a handkerchief or napkin and calmly dab at the
offending liquid,

as the hurler jumps to her feet and storms away.

other people at the table are understandably uncomfortable.

A woman 
leans over and places her hand on the sleeve of the man’s jacket and

says, “David, you know she didn’t mean it.”

David answers, “Yes,” but 
in an ambiguous tone—

the perfect adult response.

But now the orchestra 
has resumed its amiable and lively dance music, and the room is set in
 motion as before.

Out in the parking lot, however, Elizabeth is setting
 fire to David’s car.

Yes, this is a contemporary film.

Ron Padgett, “The Drink” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Ron Padgett. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Coffee House Press, coffeehousepress

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