(parody of You Are Old Father William)

“You are old, rundown dive bar,” the realtor said,
“And your floor boards no longer tight;
So why then are they painted fire engine red—
Do you think, at your age, that is right?”

“In my youth,” the dive bar replied to this one,
“it was feared it would injure my grain;
Coat after coat, the damage already done,
Why not do it again and again?”

“You are old,” said the agent, “as I mentioned before,
And your patrons uncommonly fat;
Handed pitchers of beer as they walk in the door—
Damn, what’s the reason for that?”

“In my youth,” said the bar, “to remedy hard knocks,
We used liquor to help keep us supple;
Come, realtor, take a shot—neat or on the rocks—
Allow me to pour you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the broker, “your stage is too weak,
Barely able to support a duet;
Yet you featured a six-piece band on a streak—
Tell me, how’d you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said the bar, “I courted the law,
And gifted cops cold case after case;
My many violations, my friends never saw—
So I never fell far from grace.”

“You are old, said the realtor, “who’d suppose,
You could pull off such an endeavor;
To skirt the law, right under its nose—
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said the dive bar, “don’t give yourself airs!”
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off before you’re kicked down the stairs!”

*Footnote: The dive bar was demolished yesterday to make way for a Starbucks.

Margo Rife’s work has been published in Trembling with Fear, The Wrong Coat Anthology, Covid Chronicles, and forthcoming Transmundane Time Anthology. Margo’s ghost poem will be published in an anthology in the fall. Her monologues and short plays have been staged at various theatres. Margo is a fan of dive bars.

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