John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

Early Morning bar room,1919

English pub by hienbau_photos

Early Morning Bar room,1919

I stared, stupidly, at his head
and the pool of red he bled
from the brass rail down onto
the barroom floor.

Had it been a half an hour
He, so cocksure of his power,
had first set foot
inside the barroom door?

I'd been alone but for the Doc
a Presbyterian Scott
who just come from
a hard delivery.

Mom and child were doing well
but the Doctor looked like hell
so I sat him down
and gave the man some tea.

I 'm the Pub man's assistant
and my job that Winter's morning
was cleaning up the place
for this day's trade.

Had I been out in the snug
I'd have never met this lug
who is lying on the floor
fit for the grave.

I am Irish from Tyrone,
He was from Lancaster-shire.
To his thinking I was
a blight on English soil.

He was spoiling for a fight
which he started with a right
that sent me sprawling
on the barroom floor.

He said 'Get off the floor,
and I'll treat you to some more.'
'You stupid Mick! '
His boon companion smiled.

I'm not one to shun a fight
when I'm firmly in the right
and these arms were toned
by years of quarrying stone.

Was it surprise I saw
when He learned I'm a southpaw.
Satisfying was the sound
of fist on chin.

As he commenced his trip to earth
It was the foot rail caught him first
He cracked his skull
and then he was no more.

His friend ran for the police
as his pulse and breathing ceased
Doc looked up at me and said
'This won't go well'

' Take my bicycle and flee
Off to Scotland, listen to me,
unless you fancy
dancing on the wind.'

So I rode like one possessed
on the narrow winding roads
Early winter darkness
coming down.

After, I worked on dairy farms
and spent three years in the mines.
Eventually, the case grew cold
and went away.

I emigrated to the States
where they too have
their loves and hates
but the Irish are accepted in a way.

Submitted: Sunday, November 06, 2011

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