Time’s A-Wasting at Big Sam’s

Posted on May 26, 2013

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Image by Peter Baumann

When you drive in you can smell the swamp air

The musty septic smell of wet decay

In a cardboard-crowded cellar that’s never dry

You walk through the packed lot and

Up to the door that still says “Soft Sam’s”

Inside you wonder how so many cars

Could bring so few people

Crowded around the bar past the first pool table

Left a sunken floor and the band stand

(Later a man comes to play, takes the ferry over, and Daryl, the owner, asks him to leave and come back tomorrow)

Right two more tables, darts and one of

those fire places in the middle of some round table

A new CD player

Up at the bar you wait and wait

While the waitresses ignore you

But she changes your five for a ten

And, what the hell, instead of 10 you take 20

Chances, two bucks on the pool cue drawing

And then drink your beer over pool

Thirty-five cents a game but the table’s broken

And you can reach in with your fingers and trip the ball release

Beer-sticky words spilling out of your mouth

Across the table and on to the floor

All the small-time beer-a-game hustlers

Taking you, you can beat them, but they

Take you anyway

So you drink more and care less

The magic you chased all night coming alive

And the night isn’t wasted after all

When the bar closes during the last game

And they force dollars on you

For the beer they can’t buy you

On your way home back down the road

Where you fall asleep in front of the TV

Too tired to pray.

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Posted in: Poetry, Writing