Friday, March 14, 2008

the green room

I walked the neighborhood
tonight to The Green Room,
our neighborhood bar,
“serving Durham since Prohibition”
in a small square building
whose green walls are as infused
with smoke as it is with stories.
Beer and basketball were my menu
tonight, as others shot pool and
played table shuffleboard,
each of us speaking to the other
as we crisscrossed the room
like billard balls on green felt.
Michael, the owner, sock hat
pulled over his head, smiled and
worked the room to create
another night that would sink
into the plaster and hold
the place together.
Six rules are posted at the register:

we don’t serve drunks;
use common sense;
respect others;
take care of the equipment;
no drinks on the tables;
don’t talk with your mouth full.

I kept the rules, watched
the game, and helped the
young bartender practice
the art of conversartion.
Then I finished my beer and
walked the block back home.


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