Frank’s Musette Bar
by Michael Catherwood

We could park in the alley
and walk in through the back
right into the bathroom before
anyone knew we were there.
At 6:30 am it was an advantage
when we choked on the idea
of a beer that early. Wastes
from the night before we
craved a few beers on Saturday
morning and some pool. The bar was a long
tall curved oak with divots
worn into top where drinkers
sat their beers for 40 years.
You could get a 32 ounce mug
for a dollar, the “Morning Special”
the hand-drawn, yellowed sign said.
They had checkers the old timers
played and the bartender
would turn on the Road Runner
if you wanted. The jukebox
was jammed with old 45s
of country standards: Bob Wills,
Hank Thompson, Hank Snow,
Ferlin Husky, Ernst Tubb. Someone
always played Jim Reeves “Bimbo”
half a dozen times. The smoke
from 30 years before hung
on the windows and blocked
the sun.
_______And after a rough few hours
of sipping beers, we walked out
with “Bimbo, Bimbo,
where ya gonna go-e-o
Bimbo, Bimbo, whatcha gonna do-e-o”
following us out the door into
the mid-morning sun
bright and mean and hopeful.

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