Day 2 prompt: Write a poem about a place (i.e., a house, store, school, or office). How ‘bout a bar?
Sorry to say it’s gone now,
Packy Lenahan’s bar.
Packy too. Kids may age,
Patty and Maureen Keating,
lived in the same attached building.
I forget the people’s names
in the apartment above Packy’s.
It was on the corner of Madison street,
where friends Jimmy, June, and nine more lived,
and my grandpop had lived before I was born,
and Butler street where we lived.
Packy’s, some thirty yards west of
my bedroom window,
was where they drank and smoked,
and where they played games and ate food
until well past my bed time.
Inside to the right a huge mahogany bar
had big high mirrors, stacked whisky bottles, and beer taps.
I learned shuffleboard to the left,
and my first dart board was on the back wall,
left of some stairs up to the dining room
with tables and chairs, a kitchen and
toilets were to the right.
Few stools were at the bar, but it had real,
often used, brass spittoons on the dirty,
cigarette-burn stained, wood floor where beer
was often spilled and seldom mopped
under high ceilings with fans on long poles.
The back door was mostly for exiting,
or entering when closed (but not really),
on Sundays after church or after last call,
always unlocked after knocking.
There was a piano,
and a smell of stale beer
and staler smoke, and a juke box
back in the dining room
where I sometimes played,
but bar spittoons always intrigued me,
men spat, often missing, one of the things
they only did at Packy’s.
Many nights I laid in bed and listened to them
talking or singing and being loud, having fun
at Packy’s. Sometimes fighting
after Packy threw them out and I wanted
to go see who got clobbered
with a brass spittoon off the floor.
Look both ways cuz it’s not always what you think.
Mind the gaps and don’t trip over spittoon.
4 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 2)”
This one hit home. I think all “gentlemen of a certain age” have that place. Mine was called “The Penny Whistle” It was on Hicksville Rd, Between Jerusalem Ave. and the Southern State parkway. The old fella who tended bar, Tommy Kelly, taught me to pull pitchers of beer before I was tall enough to have my head clear the bar top. Sunday in the summer were always spent there, after my Dad’s Bar league soft ball games. Nassau County Long island in the 1970’s…..
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Cool. Packy’s was in Wilkes-Barre, PA. There are others around the country.
That was spectacular, Bill! I could visualize Packy’s bar as I read your poem. Great photo too! Bravo!
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Thank you, Sue.