Monday, June 8, 2020


barney sits outside the indigo tavern

barney sits
outside the indigo tavern
like it’s going to open any minute

he sits on the wooden bench
that he’s usually on

smoking his unfiltered cigarettes

he sits there
like there’s a new pint
waiting for him inside

and a mets game on the tv

like phil is in there with his cheap scotch
dennis with his cheap white wine and ice cubes

barney sits there smiling
like he’s got a joke to tell darlene

if she’s lucky
he’ll flirt with jill

barney sits outside
checking his watch

but the indigo has been closed for three months
as the pandemic raged on and on

the american flags outside the bar
are yellow and drooping

tattered at their fringes

no one planted new flowers
in the big stone plots

bill caught the covid from watching fox news
and dennis is afraid to come outside

darlene says that stimulus check
didn’t do her for shit
and the unemployment
barely lets her slide by

barney sits
outside the indigo tavern
on a bright sunny day in june

waiting like he always does

as a truck full of day laborers
pull up to the curb
and get out of a big red truck

they have ladders
and tool boxes with them

saws and big planks of wood

a for rent sign

and the bright brass keys
to the indigo’s classic front door.

--John Grochalski


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