Come 10 O'clock

The bells in the City Hall tower struck
ten times. Empty streets came alive.

One by one they came filtering in.
Alice was ready; three pots of steaming
coffee awaited.

Faded blue coveralls were the dress
of the day. Everyone looked the same
except for Chuck.

Dressed in blue jeans and a clean shirt,
Chuck had a dentist appointment.

Steam rose from the cups of coffee.
The good old boys had to wait.

Tasting that steaming brew was a good
way to burn your lip.

Conversation was brisk; there were only
two rules. You didn't talk politics or about
another man's wife.

Talking politics turned from lively discussions
into a fight.

They met every day including Saturday, but
not on Sunday when their wives made them
attend church.

—Mike Berger, North Ogden, UT