The ballad of joe

I was watchin' everybody shootin' pool when a stranger stopped at the next stool

He appeared out of the blue,you see,and the strangest part was he looked like me!

"Hey," said Fred,"he looks like you!" I turned to Fred. "You noticed it,too?"

Paul spoke up. "You could be twins 'cept he don't have your double chins."

That was true but,as I moved nearer,it was as though I was starin' in a mirror!

Same hair and eyes,everythin' the same! "They call me Tom," I said,"what's your name?"

The stranger never said a word so,at first,I thought he hadn't heard

A word I said,so I said them again a little louder and that was when

The stranger sighed,put his hand to his cheek,looked around,then began to speak:

"Joseph's mine," said the stranger real low,"but folks around here call me Joe."

"How are you?" I asked as he sat down. He replied,"Pretty good,just got in town

"Came in this mornin' on a Trailways bus lookin' for a place without any fuss."

"Well," I answered,"this is the place! Everythin' moves at a really slow pace

In fact,you might say it's kind of dull! Nothin' excitin' happens here at all

"Though,once in a while,things occur that do go by in quite a blur

"Things 'round here just seem to stay pretty low-key,but we like it that way."

"I used to live in New York City," he told me,"and it wasn't pretty

"Shootin's,stabbin's,nighttime screams,you wouldn't believe what it does to your dreams."

I said I've lived here all my life. "And," I added,"without much strife

"Since I was knee-high to a gnome,I've been proud to call this place my home."

We then sat quietly for a while,then he lit a smoke and cracked a smile

"I'm glad we met," I said. We shook hands. He nodded. "Someone who understands!

"I have so many tales that I can spin." "I'm here to listen!" I replied and he grinned

"I think I'm gonna like it here!" I nodded my head. "I'll buy you a beer!"

I told the bartender to pour a draft. He looked at me and then he laughed

"For who?" he wondered,lookin' around --- there wasn't anyone to be found!

"He was just here a minute ago!" The bartender sighed. "That was Joe

"He stops by every now and then and I'm sure that he'll be back again."

"But where he'd go and where's he gone?" The bartender explained at the crack of dawn

Five years ago while crossin' the street,outside the door,he happened to meet

A Trailways bus comin' 'round the bend. "Just a foot away,he met his end

"So,sometimes he makes his journey complete and comes inside and has a seat."

The pool game still was goin' on,Fred and Paul were both long gone

Just by myself with a half-filled glass and each second that came to pass

Seemed eternally frozen in space as I reflected on what had taken place

The stool remained unoccupied and I thought about this man who died

This man named Joe who I'd never known yet,without him,felt so alone

The questions I had wouldn't stop and one in particular rose to the top

The bartender was watchin' TV,I motioned for him to come over to me

"Why'd he look like me? Is that bad or good?" Said the bartender,"Good cause you understood

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