Poems

Miss Chin’s Rum Bar

Its seven o’clock on a Friday Evening

One by one they came strolling in

Soon Miss Chin’s Bar will be full of them

Neighborhood folks on their weekend’s thrill

 

The Barmaid extremely busy

Unpacking Guinness, Red stripe and Ting

The glass-case loaded with fry dumplings

Slices of bread, salt fish and red herring

 

Cow cod and goat head soup bubbling

Steam fish, jerk pork and jerk chicken

A juke-box with mento and reggae music

Play any two tunes for a shilling

 

From midday Popsy seated in a corner

Half a sleep over tonic and gin

On his arm clungs his wife Fay

She’ll never leave without him

 

Aston Ruddock seated at the counter

He will buy any man a rum or two

Yet plenty a man won’t ever accept it

For rumors what he and an Englishman use to do

 

Busha Parkie a regular customer

He metaphorically opens and closes the bar

He’s always drinking and spitting

As if his stomach an overflowing reservoir

 

Now Mass Ken never leaves Miss Chin

Since she and Rocky parted ways

While Agatha, Arthur and Miss Dor are there

Whither its rainy, stormy or sunny days

 

The Bar is full of patrons

In groups they are conversing

Briscoe the baker with Tooksie a factory worker

Mon a whole heap a babblings

 

William perhaps the most intelligent

Yet only a carpenter by trade

He’s quick with a joke on a politician’s quote

How Howard Charvis sailed the wrong boat

 

On top of a table scathered dominoes

And a neatly stack deck of cards

For their will always be some people

Who will no doubt play for a smalls

 

Every Jackman eying the Barserver

As she passes the liquor around

Sweet lyrics they all are uttering

In their quest to take her home

 

Then there is a backroom

Obscured under dimmed lights

Men watching go-go dancing

Not a fuss, a quarrel or fight

 

These men should have been home

Spending time with wife and kids

Then again I shouldn’t have said that

Frankly its none of my business

 

Now I must end this saga

As life continues on

For as I aged and get older

At Miss Chin’s Bar I too will make my trod.

 

NB. Inspired by the song “The Pianoman” by Billie Joel. Dedicated to the memory of those named therein, all but four is now deceased. So long my friends may you all rest in peace.

About the author

Kharl Daley