Texas Ice Houses

Robert_bio_photo_1___version_3__1_by Robert L. Ferrier20 Oct 2014

Part town hall, part tavern
they sell block ice but mostly beer
bread, bologna and milk
cigarettes and soda water.

Their calling card a million bottle caps
gleaming like ice chips on concrete
crushed by pickups outside a tin shed
cobbled from salvaged ceiling panels.

These places shimmer like mirages
rising specters from San Antonio roads
splotched roofs banged together
like top hats on skeletons of two-by-fours
and sawed-off telephone poles.

Dominoes click in cool dark
juke box and hot chicken wings
then couples dance under porcelain signs
Nehi, Lone Star, Pearl, Lucky Strike.

One old cowhand, his face a weathered map
says This ain’t no Stop & Go
find a post and hitch
this is a stop and stay.