He taught me what “brut” meant,
and why champagne could only come from France.
He taught me which Spanish wine could substitute for Moet-Chandon,
clear, flinty, and sparkling with bubbles.
He taught me to love salty caviar on a floury disc
that cracks into pieces at first bite.
But last night we drank a sweet Ontario wine,
he found to be surprisingly good.
We might have played Scruples, but did not,
instead welcoming the new year at Halifax time.
My mother had already gone to bed,
lovingly night-gowned by my sister.
“Even though you think you know about old age,” my father said,
“it will surprise you.”