What A Shame

He threw the map away. Wandered down 55 towards Memphis. Went through southeast Missouri into Arkansas, straight into the tip of Tennessee. Crossed the Mississippi River and crossed himself. Thanked God for getting him there safely. Fell into a bar on the Southside of town. Black men and women dancing to Delta blues. His white face stuck out.

In the back a smokey smell came through the door. Hickory burning. A pig’s ribs cooking along with sausages a mile long. Catfish frying. He’d fallen into some magical place.

The thin dude was approached by a curvy woman named Delores. She had wavy black hair and green eyes. Red lipstick shined in the dark.

You wanna dance? she asked him. He nodded and took her by the hand. She placed his fingers on her hips. Leaned in close. They stayed that way; transfixed on each other till the final call for alcohol.

Got any plans? he asked her. She smiled. Lit a cigarette. Told him she had to get back to her husband ‘cross the river. She said he didn’t like to dance. He just kept looking at her. Said, Can’t imagine any man not wanting to dance with you. She laughed and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

He watched her walk away. Said to himself, What a shame girl. What a shame.

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