A Toast

In a chair in the dark on the blackest of nights
at the edge of the faintly flickering orange firelight
sits a figure so still that you’d might think it dead
if it didn’t occasionally move and bow its dark head
The gloved hands on the table, with their reddish dull hue
fold gently in silence around a mug of fine brew.
In his battered silk garments, stained with their age
and a smell slowly growing, reminiscent of sage.
The mind of this figure, unlike that which holds it
dances through memories, their stories unfolded.
Carrigan the warrior, gave his life in darkest hour,
Sammion the paladin, sold his soul for dark power,
Keiesha, a druid, swept down by the sea,
Frohike, a rogue, done in by his deeds.
One after another, these friends they do fall
gone from this world, save when dreams come to call.
At last the figure stands, and raises glass in the air
a toast to the ghosts of those who cannot be there.
And with a muttered something, too soft to be heard,
the mug tilted back, emptied, and to table returned.
The figure at last steps into the light,
smiles, wipes a tear, then heads into the night.

-2 Jun 2003

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