Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Molly Maguire's Pub

by Christian Reifsteck

I could never stand
a misplaced apostrophe,
so I do not buy
the black shirt hanging
from the pub’s tin ceiling
that reads, “Patricks’ a saint
I ain’t.”
I do not wear grammatical errors.

But the boys who pretend to be men
in their black leather biker vests and chain wallets
and tattoos encircling their necks
don’t know any better.

They pretend to be the devil himself—
antithesis of everything holy,
everything Saint Patrick.
I see it in their eyes,
through the smoke clinging to the tin ceiling
and the wrinkled posters of Irish landscapes
plastered to the lime green walls of this little corner bar
squeezed between the close neighborhood houses
surrounded by mountains in a little corner town
that pretends to be Irish in this little spot.

I see the hesitancy in their faces
the uncertainty, the small innocent fear
undetectable under a fifth beer,
invisible behind a beard,
and as subtle as an inappropriate apostrophe
that no one really notices.

Christian Reifsteck’s poems have appeared in various publications, including The Bijou Poetry Review, Vantage Point, and manifest magazine. He currently teaches in central Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

  1. cool commentary on both the guys and the world of grammatical mistakes. :)