A Holiday Tale From Your Friendly Bartender…
‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the pub,
Not a creature was stirring and there lay the rub.
Glasses were scrubbed, all the fruit wedged and peeled,
With hopes that a customer soon would need healed,
But history said they were snug in their beds,
While visions of invoices danced in their heads.
“To go to a bar,” they would surely lament,
“Is just what we need but we’re too overspent!”
So I in my apron and waiter with tray,
Had just settled down for a long tip-less day.
When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bar to see what was the matter.
There to the window I flew like a flash,
Threw back the shutters and pulled up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear…
Santa Claus seeking both solace and cheer.
But gestures were clumsy, not lively and quick,
And I knew in a moment this can’t be St. Nick.
For here was a man who was still on a tear,
A department store Santa in nobody’s care.
I ushered him in, nonetheless, I dare say,
For under that costume a broken heart lay.
Yes here was a man who had spread all his cheer,
To whom was left nothing but whiskey and beer.
A bartender knows this… that lonely man’s gaze,
It’s something he’s seen over too many days.
And drinking to hide it at this time of year,
Does nothing but heighten the trace of a tear.
“So how about coffee?” I ventured with hope,
As he slid on the stool fairly struggling to cope.
“It’s not what I want I must tell you, alas,
But that’s what I need ’cause I’m drunk on my ass!”
Then coffee was served, and a cup after that,
As he told me his story right there as he sat.
For his was like many, it’s too sad to say…
The orphan on Christmas and then the next day.
A story as old as the Yuletide itself,
Poor souls discarded and placed on a shelf.
When these should be days that we reach for each other,
Claiming to all we are sister and brother,
We toss to the wind that most noble of notions,
Reaping instead needless stress and emotions.
But that’s what it is and that’s what we’ve wrought,
Now that our Christmas is paid for and bought.
So then when the coffee had managed its trick,
I threw in some breakfast for ersatz St. Nick.
Finished, he thanked me with words quick and clear,
Gone was that cloud and all signs of a tear.
And then with a wink and a nod of his head,
He soon let me know I had nothing to dread.
He sprang to his feet, to a cab did give whistle.
Away he then rode like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,
“I really was Santa, at least for a night!”
Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!