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The Nelson
by Bryan Roskams

The “Nelson” is a public house,
On the corner of a shabby street.
It sells the usual beer and crisps,
And at night a musical beat

You’ll see the same old crowd in there,
All sitting in their dedicated place,
The far end of the bar sits a hairless man,
And no one’s ever seen his face.

He was in a fire twenty years ago
And it caught him in the head,
He was quite severely injured,
And some thought he was dead.

Then there is the blonde girl
Always sitting on her own,
Hair a mess, lipstick smeared
Her figure just skin and bone.

She has a lost look upon her face
Looks as though she’s crossed the line,
Nobody knows of her secret
It’s still with her at closing time.

A young man sits at the piano
Playing tunes no one can hear,
His glass lies empty, with the memory
Of a long consumed beer.

His bony fingers rake the keys,
As he plays out a mournful song.
He’s plagued with many problems,
But he’s left them much too long.

Some people are sitting at tables
No one dares to sit in their place.
Whilst others are sitting upright
And staring into space.

They are all searching for something,
It’s too late, it has passed them all by,
They were much too greedy to see it then
And now they can’t even cry.

They do not have to think at the “Nelson”
They don’t need diamonds or gold,
The're sitting till landlord calls closing
Then shuffle out to the night and cold.

The “Nelson” will be open tomorrow
But only for those from the grave,
The “Nelson’s” been closed for forty years
For the ones the lord could not save.

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