A Bar at the Folies-Bergere. Manet

by Jerry Ratch

The mystery is in the barmaid's impersonal stare

It's all there. Recognizable the bottles of Bass Ale

and Crème de Menthe. Glazed oranges piled in a bowl

Two roses in a small clear glass of water

A wide gold bracelet on her arm, halfway

up from the wrist. A corsage centered on her breast

and a locket hanging from a black velvet ribbon

around her neck.  Her cheeks are flushed

as she stands listening to the frank man in the

top hat, with his deep red face in reflection

serious, intent. The long brown moustache, his

cane clutched firmly in one hand. While off

above, swings a pair of legs with green feet

from a trapeze over the big crowded room

The barmaid is quite young still, and tired

or dazed. We see her reflected back

We are perhaps that man

A Bar at the Folies-Bergere - Edouard Manet