Monday, December 30, 2013

joe the jolly bartender

joe the jolly bartender
always had a smile
he was a solid sender
and everybody liked his style

no poor sap was so down and out
and so desperately blue
that joe wouldn't give him a happy shout
from across the avenue

when joe was working nights
at tony's bar and grill
it was always a pleasant sight
to see him pouring those drinks with a will

those innocent and good of heart
and not inclined to scowl and hiss
accepted joe as he played his part
never suspecting something amiss


but those of more skeptical mien
saw something beneath the sheen
of joe's ever present bonhomie
and impervious sanguinity

beyond where the neon sign shone
and the memories of those it shone upon
did anyone really know
where he went when he wasn't being joe?

a suspicious fellow named tate
decided to investigate
tate had dreamed of being a detective
but reality had been more selective

and dealt him an everyday fate
a job unpacking and packing crates
at a well known hardware store
whose sway extended from shore to shore

his motive he never professed
it might have been sheer orneriness
but he got it into his dome
that he would follow joe home

the opportunity came
so without second thought or shame
on a desolate windswept night
he kept the outward bound joe in sight

it proved easy to keep on joe's track
he never seemed to look back
but proceeded at a steady pace
with no particular style or grace

the streets fell away like leaves
and tate began to believe
that perhaps he was wasting his time
and his suspicions were not worth a dime

joe suddenly was not there
tate had no time to stop and stare
but hastened to the spot
where his last glimpse of joe he had caught

a window covered with soap
held a sign saying "never lose hope"
this cryptic exhortation
produced a curious desolation

in the consciousness of poor tate
to its message he could not relate
but of something it seemed to remind him
and then he heard a voice behind him -

no one could remember when
or if they ever saw tate again
he became one of those, i fear
whose fate it is to disappear

the city with its winking face
swallows souls without a trace
they just go and don't come back -
who can keep track?


joe the jolly bartender
always has a smile
he is a solid sender
and everybody likes his style

no poor sap is so down and out
or so desperately blue
that joe won't give him a happy shout
from across the avenue

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