Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Dumas, pere

Cognac brown, soft, consoling.
I tilt the decanter to the glass,
the heavy one with the scene
of downtown Baltimore
etched in black and real gold,
probably 24 carat.
Not to be put into the dishwasher,
though I do.

A golden bourbon in an exquisite glass.
And behind glass, leather-bound books,
a special occasion to touch.
Before I even know the title
I open, smell and riffle the pages,
A sound like bourbon, poured from the decanter.
Alexander Dumas, one of my dad’s favorites,
The Three Musketeers,
Athos, Porthos, not D’Artagnan.
Who is the third?
He would be disappointed
that I could name
only two.

I return to my chair,
book and bourbon in hand,
to find the third musketeer’s

And remember Fa sitting in our library,
bourbon in hand, reading,
perhaps The Three Musketeers.


Cynthia Strauff Schaub
is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards for her poetry and prose. She is the author of
Another Sunday, a story of historic Baltimore. Her second novel, Echoes from the Alum Chine, is also set in early 20th Century Baltimore. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, as well as The O.Henry Magazine and its sister publications. She muses about life and such in her blog, UpwindoftheStable.

A native of Baltimore, she holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago.