Ode to Hal’s


Say it isn’t so. Tell me false rumor. Tell me future visits like before. Tell me landmark, mecca, institution. Dobbek, John, Ted, Benny, etc. Killebrew and the Twins. Make mincemeat of my pedestrian tosses. Mispronounce my name and ask for $3. Let my mind continue to drift like a lagged shot from north end crawling from left edge to right falling gently left at the last for a right-corner 3. Let me gaze down on cracked white finish; The mid-fifties American; The old-world patina; The well-worn horse collar. Let me press the blue and red buttons and arrange the triple crowns. Tell me I need not worry. Tell me it continues under caring hands. Tell me the future is no match for history and place. Tell me I can continue to test my best against the best on the best. Tell me that people aren’t so blind. Tell me the names of the new. Tell me their number. Let them be convinced. Neon sign and painted murals; A collective conscience; Museum pieces for preservation. Don’t make me stomach a future of deep wounds; of riding by commerce’s new facade; A tin replacement for a meaningful iron past rusted and gone. Tell me it is chained to the floor and there to stay. The table. The memory. This part of me. Tell me anything, but please don’t call to tell me it’s gone.