Tonight like all nights
the beery crowd is inattentive
while he rasps bad covers

His picture, at the door
without a grey hair
is the illusion of memory

Live every night
his voice, fingers
worn by the years of living high

Reduced to strumming
supported by rhythm ace
collecting scale

He is a defrocked priest
knowing of the sacrilege of holding the crucifix
In their cases
his Martin
his Fender
await his redemption

Every night, again, again
a request, a beer, a dollar

Tonight, half gone
he, half in the bag
when she sends him
wedge of lemon, shaker of salt, shot of tequila
five in cash, napkin note
“Play something you like,” it reads

He struggles,
to think, to remember
anything worth a five

© Andy Michaelson, Words Like Ashes

Andy is good friend of mine and he’s been honing his writing skills for the past 798 years or so. For more of his poems, and the works of four other talented writers in Western Canada in the book Words Like Ashes, contact:

andymichaelson@shaw.ca