Years ago, the old fellow from the worm shop nearby
would shuffle in for his afternoon beer to escape the heat.
He’d rest his cane and in the cool, inner twilight,
I could hear the coins chatter on the bar top.
He used to work for my mother in law’s, mother’s, third husband’s
engineering firm called, “Dig it, Ditch it & Dam it.”
The mugs were brought out freezer cold
and the beers served with a thick skein of ice on their sides.
Jars of homemade horseradish sat for sale on a front corner table.
And the fried bologna sandwich was still “Almost Famous”
and came with a side.
Fellows would sit in the quiet bar in the mid-afternoon,
which stood halfway down a brick, tree-lined
neighborhood of narrow working-class homes,
with the Union Headquarters just up the street,
and a guy selling farm produce from the back of a truck
parked a block or so away
where the crossroads met before the bridge
across the Muskingham into Marietta.
I enjoyed my first fried bologna sandwich here
and haven’t ordered anything else, since.
You sit back and watch the TV and barmaids;
meet with friends.
Currently, one barmaid has a circular maze tattoo
on her right outer thigh.
To struggle with it over five seconds
would be considered leering,
so I’m toying with the idea of taking a photo
and solving the problem at home.