The hard work was done. Hidden by the night's blanket- Drowned out by barking dogs and passing coal trains That shook the building. The Osso Buco was my idea. It was his favorite- Something his family wouldn't have known. Expecting fried chicken and hot sausage They looked at me like I was crazy. So I braised all night, Reliving old conversations to file away- For later. I could have been with him that night. Doesn't mean I should have. He wouldn't begrudge me still being here. As long as I cooked. I braised long enough to be sober by dawn. Nothing to do but stir the sauce and wait For the set-up crew. His stool at the end of the bar looked less empty, Washed by the golden glow leaking through the curtains. Nobody would begrudge me a beer After a long night's work.