I went into the Maverick Bar
In Farmington, New Mexico.
And drank double shots of bourbon
backed with beer.
My long hair was tucked up under a cap
I’d left the earring in the car.
Two cowboys did horseplay
by the pool tables,
A waitress asked us
where are you from?
a country-and-western band began to play
“We don’t smoke Marijuana in Muskokie”
And with the next song,
a couple began to dance.
They held each other like in High School dances
in the fifties;
I recalled when I worked in the woods
and the bars of Madras, Oregon.
That short-haired joy and roughness—
I could almost love you again.
We left—onto the freeway shoulders—
under the tough old stars—
In the shadow of bluffs
I came back to myself,
To the real work, to
“What is to be done.”
Gary Snyder, “I Went into the Maverick Bar” from Turtle Island. Copyright © 1974 by Gary Snyder. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.