Excerpt from Larry Rogers' LIVE FREE OR CROAK

For Mrs Rogers

                          At 65, I'm still bringing apples

                          with bites taken out of them

                          to a kindergarten teacher, the one

                          I married 33 years ago; and she

                          is still having to remind me

                          not to resent authority so much

                          and not to play so rough with others.



                                                we imbibed

                                                a little concoction

                                                rumored to be

                                                something the Vietnamese

                                                substituted for

                                                embalming fluid

                                                part alcohol

                                                and part who-knows-what.


                                               Just enough alcohol

                                               to lift our spirits

                                               and/or numb

                                               our hearts and minds,

                                               and not quite enough


                                               to kill us.