Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bushido On The Rocks

Dressed like a ninja
Sharp as a katana
Nodding at each order
Killing every drink

“Kai YAH!” she cries out
As her left foot lifts up
Jammed off-balance fridge door
And then kicks it closed

Eyes that miss nothing
Glances like shuriken
This one needs a refill
That one needs the tab

Ten ringless fingers
Yanking, washing, pouring
Ten little ronin
Masterless and cool

“Do not make me muddle!”
She commands a stranger
Her samurai top-knot
Firmer than a pestle

All is precision
Not a wrestled motion
Moving without thinking
Human shuttlecock

“Not a night for chatting.”
Rueful but reality
Still she makes time to
Check in on each friend

This one wants Powers
This one vodka soda
That one wags his fingers
(That one she ignores)

Barely heard music
Roar of conversation
Tsunamis of drinkers
Crash against the bar

Knee deep in neat shots
Hip deep in Hefeweiss
Fighting off White Russians
Drowning in Knob Creek

Gone is the top-knot
Face framed in brown waves
Years drop away like
Raindrops from a leaf

One against fifty
Odds are impossible
Watch her remarkable
Whittle them to naught

Hair tight in ponytail
Now she means business
Countdown to closing
Minutes pass like days

Time like molasses
Everything’s a slow pour
On her marble shoulders
Walnuts can be cracked

Slowly the barstools
Empty like a subway car
What do I owe you
Here’s where I get off

Cling-wrap the draft taps
Wipe down the service bar
Spilled beer on wood smell
Makes her want to cough

Gone are the groupies
Gone are the regulars
All that’s left is family
And the mental fog

Time for a breath now
Time for a little
Bartender yoga
Downward hair of dog

 Copyright 2012 Matthew J Wells

No comments: