the barroom

I knew

the barroom

long before I got there

the taunts whispers

from ne’er do wells

who would wish you

ne’er do well too

in case that would

show them in a true light

the sneers

pulling down of hopes

wishes dreams

to keep you on a par

the falsity of smiles

claps on backs

two faces to the fore

veneer encouragement

glad handing back slapping

more in the hope

of brief entertainment

than care

for these were the people

who raised me

another way

I’d drive them out of the city

sensation seeking students

& sometimes aspiring ne’er do wells

who the city wanted put straight

driving out to nature

where I’d walk them down a trail

to a full green valley bowl

scatter them off to disperse

find a spot by themselves

just sit for a while

four hours maybe five

until they heard the come here whistle

& some would come back too soon

unable to be alone

to be set back off again go complete

& at the end of the exercise

some would complain

of the tedium boredom isolation

the long dragging day

others would say felt like minutes

& the long drive home

was full of silence as the experience

of no phones no tv no people

just sitting by themselves

settled into their bones

now they knew

there was another way