Weekly feature by: Sissy Buckles

The saloon on the desolate hilly
outskirts of El Cajon off
Olde Highway 80
looked like a barn from
the road and still not even sure
why I was there with a
few adventurous
divorced dames from work
needing a sanity break
from the kids at home but
I heard a fiddler wailing
the Cotton-Eyed Joe
his western invitation moaning
high from the parking lot
so skirt daring
I ducked inside and saw
crackerjack sailors on
shore leave primping raw
muscles and two-stepping in
dusty lizard boots
they leaned on the rail
laughing and rapaciously
eyeballing the ladies’ asses in
tight jeans and scowling
as I strolled by at my
sweet Muffy’s B&W saddles
(that I wore for pure comfort)
while drinking shots of Wild Turkey
with the pink-eyed albino
his long white ponytail dripping
out a tipped Cattleman’s
hat and I could feel
the palpable
tension in the stuffy
room taut and sweaty like
everybody was just itching for
a fight and looking up in awe
and wonder at the vast
multi-hued rainbow array of
bras hanging from the bar
blowing softly like flags
from the ancient fan rotating
the stale air and asked
if it was simple as gifting them
one for a free drink
but I was told it was that
AND you have to
“flash your pretty titties at
the bar owner too”
indicating with his thumb at
a rough and randy
white haired gent gesticulating
at the end of the bar to the
country singer looking tired on
the wrong side of forty but who could
still dish out a ballad of lost
love tender enough to make you
sob in your beer
and well I had plenty of
dough at hand so
took a hasty pass on
that fine offer turning instead
to watch exotic
bald dancers waving by
with fluttering arms
like middle-aged branches
and a burned man in plaid
his rubber mouth a frozen cod’s gash
asked me to waltz a
nightmare, in my trepidation
I completely forgot
the old steps my pa had slow
& sure taught me
as a girl in our family room
my mind a panicked whirl
(just being polite & all)
but I bravely
tried the old step
only to be pugnaciously pulled
around then pushed,
bumped and jabbed with
pointed stinging elbows
from behind by
the legion of indifferent
stomping heels.