The Ghost in the Bar

By | 1 July 1997

I remember how you used to sit
in the bleak light nursing a beer
in that pub off Oxford St
with the barflies lined up behind you.

You would sit there all afternoon
and into the twilight
sometimes telling a story
or showing off your extra knowledge
just enough to put a demarcation line
between you and the others
they tolerated you but they knew
you were taking the mickey

sometimes I’d ring and you’d come to the phone
with your drunken chatter
your soft drawl of words
I wondered how long you would stay there
before your body gave out
and they came in their white coats
carrying a stretcher
St Vinnies was just down the road

still there was a happy ending of sorts
you moved away and gave up the grog
but what did you leave behind?

Only a ghost pinned in a shaft of light
sitting in that bar off Oxford St
talking to itself
in a sibilant knowing whisper.

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