Beginner’s Meeting

The room is filled with the squeaks of uncomfortable asses
on steel chairs.  The speaker, a young man with ninety-five days,
vomits his drunkalogue upon us
and we swallow our daily dose of Vitamin R.  His life - sad, small -
until he recovered, touched by the grace and love of 
a Higher Power that he calls Herbie.  

He doesn't like the 'G' word.

There are four Joe's in the room.  The speaker is Joey the kid, 
and elsewhere in the room is Joe with the cane, Joey Bag-of-doughnuts,
and me, Joey Hats. It isn't a meeting without at least 3 Joes.  

Harry vibrates next to me, coffee splashing from his half-empty cup.  He is a regular. 
He has visited church basements for over a decade;
he has gathered dozens of medallions, but none for any length over ninety days.  

His yellow skin warns us all.

—Joe Johaneman, Honesdale, PA