New Years Eve in the Alps

Each year was the same.
On New Year’s Eve we’d meet at Pedro’s party,
all those old friends
who’ve moved on, gone separate ways.
Conjoined then by schools and children
we’d drink, chat, dance, catch-up
on details of our lives.
As they grew up and away,
we’d judge, gossip, sympathise, advise,
crack jokes, laugh, eat and be merry.

Tim and I, separately married, each year
would find ourselves, glass in hand, talking
and each year we’d plan our ultimate fantasy
we’d say next year maybe...
instead of here at this little gathering
we’ll celebrate New Year at the top
of the Alps. We’ll travel by Orient Express
and cable car, have separate rooms
in a comfortable hotel - he’d have
his large box of cigarettes for chain smoking
and I’d have expensive binoculars
for looking out at the snowy mountain vistas
and spotting eagles.

On New Year’s Eve at midnight we decided,
we’ll stand together on our balcony-eerie
and look across the mountains
at the cold sparkling star-filled sky
towards where our loved ones
waited for the chimes of Big Ben
and raise an ice-chilled glass of champers
to all those dear but absent friends at Pedro’s.

Tim, tall and white haired, full of easy-going charm
would carry on chain smoking,
I would scan the skies for wheeling birds of prey
... each year we’d plot our escape.

Now Tim is gone, but every New Year’s Eve
I think of him, high in the Alps
and raise a toast.

Sept 2013
c. AM