Table Nine

by Tracy Newman

Genre: Americana/Country


I work the night shift, he’s here now and then
He orders coffee and takes out a pen
I offer him paper, “No, this napkin is fine”
Says the man at table nine

He asks me my age, I’m twenty-one
He smiles and says, “How’d you get to be so young?”
I call him a flirt, he calls me sunshine
The man at table nine

Table nine’s in the back by the payphone
There’s always somebody whispering to me
“You know you’re waitin’ on the Okie from Muskogee”
I don’t know or even ask what that means

He just looks like a cowboy, kinda haggard and gray
They say he’s a singer, folks pay him to play
But I can’t imagine standing in line
To see the man at table nine


One rainy night he comes in with a guitar
Somebody asks him to play us a tune
We pull down the shades and gather around him
He sings until almost two

And when he’s done I bring him some pie
I say, “It’s on me for that song Mama Tried”
I ask, “Did you write it?” He says, “Every line”
I hand him a napkin, and ask him to sign
And when I get home I’m gonna find him on line
The man at table nine

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