Donal Mahoney


Griggs' Bar and Grill


In two more hours I'll have to shower,
shave and coffee-prop my lids
and otherwise prepare for day. It's 4 a.m.
and now the barkeep, Griggs,

is rushing me, the first
to come, the last to leave,
the lad who just an hour before
was coaxed to quaff one more.

At work I'll cummerbund a smile,
hold my head and sit all day,
play another endless game
of solitaire or tic-tac-toe.

Griggs' apron's off. The neon's out
and now he'll set the locks in back.
The spittle, butts and half-slain beers
he'll leave for Willie who'll soon be here

to dance his broom between
the tables and the scattered chairs
as smoothly as Kelly or Astaire.
At 6 a.m., he'll climb the ladder

near the door and aim his broom
through the transom toward the sky.
Each morning Willie puts another
bullet through the eye of sunrise.

Submitted: Friday, December 20, 2013
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