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Been tendin’ bar

In this old town

Since 1863

Since all the dust

From trails of rust

I found a place to be


From rush of gold

To gush of oil

And ghosts laid in between

Despite the dirt

N’all the hurt

N’all the pain I seen


Behind three feet

Of sturdy wood

I plied my trusted trade

I did replace

A welcome face

For all who end in fade


How many times

I polish brass

Mahogany is worn

Still comb my hair

What’s left up there

Pour whiskey over scorn


Old grizzly Bob

And ragger Jim

Stud under the table

Mangey Mcgee’s

Dog and his fleas

Go howl a bowl at Mabel


Up creeky dick

With pick and pan

Still diggin’ for the dream

Young Sherrif Bill

Will never fill

The man he’d could’ve been


Party happens

All day and night

A sight for all to see

What once was gay

Seems far away

What must you think of me


Empty happens

All night’s they end

Don’t speak of the unseen

Drink in your hole

Shoot up your soul

To wipe the bar slate clean


Then slinger Joe

Came in one day

The bar became a tomb

His eyes quite still

Always a thrill

As he stared out the room


He took his place

In front of me

I poured his usual brew

He looked around

Then to the ground

And somehow I just knew


He looked into

His soothing source

Musing eternity

He took a sip

And bit his lip

And then spoke finally


Furst man uh killed

Steel jest ah boy

Dun ten b’faw feftine

Bah twennywun

Mah life wiz dun

Ditn’t mean te be mean


Ye thank ye know

Bout who ye are

B’t that jest ain’t the case

If wun man’s true

Seh’s he knows you

Well till it teh mah face


Each man ah killed

Wanted me dead

N’ah woulda dun the same.

Ah cayn’t member

Now wat ah felt

Mah heart, it felt no shame


Y’ make a name

N’ in return

Y’ Reputations y’ers

It’s laid on you

By those that who

C’n drive a man t’ wars


He drained his glass

One last neck throe

Rocked back on his bar stool

Unsteady slow

I looked below

And saw the growing pool


I felt his frown

He pointed down

And opened up his shirt

The final score

The knife he wore

This was the end of hurt


He reached across

And kissed me hard

And opened up his eyes

Hh held me tight

I didn’t fight

This was the end of lies


I gasped, he smiled

Always his way

To end the wandering

I laid my head

And we were dead

We didn’t feel a thing

March 2017