Plague Diary:  Last Supper at Cowboy’s

M.A. Schaffner

April 26, 2020

In no time at all forever ago,
it was the average meal in the average dive.
Between garden center and gas pumps,
and a parlor for piercings and tattoos
an easy going neighbor.

We all knew the lockdown was coming,
but wanted a final pint of the local,
and, hey, it was Taco Night too.

Shouldn’t have been surprised to see some friends:
John and Foster, Cindy and Liz;
we dragged another table and sat down
for laughs and the kind of conversation
you remember enjoying later on.

Dingy or funky, the place fit a mood
in which everyone passed as neighbors too.
Though now the surrounding development
makes a co-morbidity factor of its own.

An era’s slipped away, it seems,
along with a home we can’t return to,
leaving only a clutch of old photos
with indecipherable scribbles on their backs.

M. A. Schaffner lives with spouse and pugs in a house built cheaply 110 years ago in Arlington, Virginia. Their work has recently appeared in The MacGuffin, Illuminations, The Writing Disorder, and the anthology Written in Arlington. Earlier appearances included Poetry Wales, Poetry Ireland, and The Tulane Review. When not avoiding home repairs through poetry, M. A. wades through the archival records of the Second United States Colored Infantry (1863-66) with a view toward compiling a regimental history.

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