Theodore’s Bar

No college weekend is complete without
burgers, beers, and brouhaha at Teddy’s.
The polished dark oak bar serves twenty ounce
bowls of draft, Pabst, Strohs, or Iron City.

Drinking that much beer emboldens us
to push our point of view. As we come in
to the bar LBJ is on TV addressing us.
“My fellow Americans….”, he begins.

His hound dog face weeps exhaustion. He drones
on about the need to send in more troops.
We sit in a booth in back by the pay phone
and vent our displeasure at his bad news.

The kitchen sources a stream of thick burgers.
Their pocked surfaces brimmed with blood
and globules of fat resemble the mangled cadavers
of the boy soldiers who had been inducted

for lack of an educational deferment.
Each banquette is graced by a lighted
beer logo illuminating our argument.
Our sign is chipped in one corner. It vibrates

and buzzes, as if awaiting a spark to explode.
We disagree over whether to serve if drafted.
Fate will force us to decide down the road.
After food and drink we become more placid.

It’s time to return to our backlog of unread texts
and unfinished papers unsure of what we’ll do next.

Robert Paul Allen lives on a lake near the coast of Maine. He is surrounded daily by the state’s rugged beauty. He worked in the medical field in patient care and has seen the gamut of human trials and tribulations. The human condition inspires much of his poetry. He has been a serious poet for the past five years and has published 31 poems. His first chapbook, Between the Panes has just been published. He believes he still has something to say. Read other articles by Robert Paul.