This poem came from a scene I watched as I was having dinner by myself at a hotel restaurant years ago. I had finished work for the day was grabbing a bite before I went to my room. I remember writing down notes and later, creating the back story about the guy who was sitting at the hotel bar, alone with his thoughts.
THE OLD MAN AT THE BAR
He sits there on the barstool,
his hat low o’re his eyes.
His beard is gray, but neatly trimmed
and about four times the size
of the way he used to wear it
when he was young and wild.
They say he could be fearsome then
if someone got him riled.
They say he’d ride the Brahma’s
till one up and broke his back.
And he still walks bent over
though it’s years since the attack.
Now, he sits there on that barstool
and stares off into space.
And you know that he’s rememberin’
a far off time and place
when he was rough and ready,
full of vinegar and spit
and he’d take on any challenge
just to have the fun of it.
Now he sits there on that barstool,
Jack Daniels by his side.
Knowing he’d a been the champ
if he just had one more ride.
Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2002