Old Madam Randson knew what she wanted, and what she did not.
She wasted no time pining after the next rung in the social climb.
No doilies at tea time. No retirement dreams of the sea.
No, not for Old Madam Randson.
Her thirst was quenched each night at McCrady’s.
Belly warmed with amber fire, she’d wait her turn
then wobble up, up, up the steps. Claiming center stage.
Eyes black and bright, she’d inventory the night’s sloshed onlookers.
A hush would hiss between tables. Quiet lads, the old crone’s waiting!
And only when the room silenced would she begin her boisterous prose.
Her crepey folds would jiggle by the force of trembling hands thrown akimbo.
Wavery voice projected from the depths of her abdomen. She spoke to them.
And by god, they always listened. Tankards in hand and curiosity peaked.
The ancient woman undulated her inspirations, words woven from broken days.
Love and life, guilt and pain, brutal honesties and unabashed wrongdoings.
Long into the night she enchanted her audience, she alone bright in the spotlight.
Feeble and creaky, contorted fingers and mind slipping—they agreed.
Old Madam Randson was an oddity. A tavern regular, reliable jape fodder.
And yet when she spoke, something would wrap round their memories
and expose nameless feelings. And so they sat each night—
drinking, waiting, listening.