Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, March 29, 2015


by Neil Leadbeater

Not often a dolphin stands you a drink.
My shout, he says,
and downs his glass in a oner.
Open-eyed you feel obliged
to offer him another
for he has the odour of river brine
running off his breath
but the dolphin insists it’s always his turn
that this one’s on the house.

The barman seems at ease.
He knows he’s a regular
who can hold down drink
without any trouble at all
but when it comes to paying up
the usual thing occurs -
he turns his flippers inside out
in a feigned search for money
exclaims he’s left his wallet
adrift in his canoe
so the stranger pays
with hard-earned cash
shocked at the price of liquor
and follows the dolphin
down to the bank
because the dolphin insists
he’ll pay in the end
though everyone knows
he won’t.

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