Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Friday Night

by John Grey

Ronnie Kempher’s dad would cash his pay
on a Friday,
head straight for the bar.

He’d take up his familiar position,
butt spinning stool back and forth,
elbows between ash tray and peanut dish,
feet dangling.

He drank one beer after another,
figured he deserved it
after a long week in the factory.
It was up to Ronnie to drag him out of there,
convince him there were others
just as deserving.

Mostly Ronnie failed,
grabbing at pants legs.
shirt sleeves,
the old man pushing him away,
while yelling out his next order.

He’d run home
into a cursing mother’s arms,
while the new baby screamed
loud as a hundred tea kettles.

“That boy’s too young to be in here,”
Mick the bartender would always say.

Who knew there was an age limit
to the same old story?