Texas . . .
(from Riding the Greyhound)
The saddle between my legs
as I shifted position
to look over my shoulder
at the sound of the jukebox
Another quarter, another lost love refrain
to get the beer drinkers upending their glasses,
and maybe, feet shuffling on the patch of
used to be shiny, dance floor –
six square feet of bodies straining
against one another.
The bartender looked at me,
flipped his chin at the woman
two saddles down,
with both elbows on the bar,
and dropped in another quarter.
Fat chance, I mimed,
lifting my empty glass – Refill, please,
Big Dog leaves in thirty-two minutes.
And just as Aretha's opening notes
caused my heart to skip-beats,
there was a tap on my shoulder
and there stood two-saddles down,
eyes closed, sway-whispering,
"Ain't no way . . ."
you're not going to dance with me.
Big Dog leaves in thirty-two minutes . . .
Yesterday, or the day before.
Maybe tomorrow too,
but not before two-saddles down
stops sway-dancing –
© wesley james beard, jr.
Note: The bar, saddle-stools, jukebox and woman
all true (late 1950s) - the rest, the dreams of an old man.