The Barmaid



I sauntered into the haunted saloon

placed myself carefully on a stool at the counter

nobody was there but a bunch of ghosts & me

the barmaid, Holy Mary, uncorked a bottle of grace

poured me a shot

the shot glass looked empty

but I knew, yes, I knew

the shot glass was now full of grace

“the Lord is with thee,” I said to the barmaid

she smiled gently

a replica of the Milky Way galaxy in each eye

a crucifix above her head

“what’s a crucifix doing in here?” I asked

her reply:  “This is the ghost town called Love, remember?”

an awkward grin tilted my head sideways

I gulped down what she had served

& left a generous tip…


(Copyright Clyde Collins 2011)



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