A La Manzanilla tradition is the gathering each night to watch the sunset on the beach behind Daniel’s real estate office and home. I happen to rent the house next door and so nightly, even if I don’t always join them, I am still party to the sounds of laughter, talking and glug glug of tequila being poured into shot glasses. On those rare occasions when there is phosphorescence on the water, the “Ohhhhhhhhh’s” come in loud waves and I run out to share the spectacle. Daniel’s beach bar is only one of the aspects of this special place that make it special, but it is one so familiar to me that I wanted to share it with both those who know it well as well as those of you who don’t. Not written to any prompt, this one is written from the heart and memory:
Daniel’s Beach Bar
The wormwood planks above the sand,
set on pillars by his hand,
form a bench twelve feet or so
where every night townspeople go
to watch the sun sink in the ocean
and (if they should have the notion)
to share a tequila shot or two,
to chew the fat and share the view.
He is a solitary man,
tall and skeletal and tan.
Shirtless and shoeless, he sits among
the friends, like him, no longer young,
who choose this life of sand and sea
where they can be what they want to be.
A bottle cap sufficient to stub
his cigar smoked down to nub,
he leaves the ones who gather here,
and grabs another bottle of beer
to stroll back to his office where
for another hour, he’ll type and stare
at the screen where other friends abide,
locked securely there inside.
Tomorrow morning, the town asleep,
the village vagabond will sweep
the sand for butts of cigarettes,
his luck compounded when one forgets
a pack with one or two inside.
And though there’s no one there to chide,
still, he quickly palms them and
moves through last night’s littered sand––
past empty glasses and one or two
tequila bottles devoid of brew.
Last night’s spoils in light of day,
give last night’s revelries away.
(Click on any image to enlarge all)
A legation of legs? Daniel gives his cigar a rest as he takes a cigarette break.