barney sits outside the indigo tavern

barney sits

outside the indigo tavern

like it’s going to open any minute

he sits on the wooden bench

that he’s usually on

smoking his unfiltered cigarettes

he sits there

like there’s a new pint

waiting for him inside

and a mets game on the tv

like phil is in there with his cheap scotch

dennis with his cheap white wine and ice cubes

barney sits there smiling

like he’s got a joke to tell darlene

if she’s lucky

he’ll flirt with jill

barney sits outside

checking his watch

but the indigo has been closed for three months

the american flags outside the bar

are yellow and drooping

tattered at their fringes

no one planted new flowers

in the big stone plots

bill is home watching fox news

and dennis is afraid to come outside

darlene says

the unemployment

barely lets her slide by

barney sits

outside the indigo tavern

on a bright sunny day in june

waiting like he always does

as a truck full of day laborers

pull up to the curb

and get out of a big red truck

they have ladders

and tool boxes with them

saws and big planks of wood

a for rent sign

and the bright brass keys

to the indigo’s classic front door.


John Grochalski is the author of the poetry collections, The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and The Philosopher’s Ship (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), and the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Twitter: @JohnGrochalski

Categories: Poetry

Daily Drunk

Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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