What Began at Chez Pepe’s 


They waited a hundred yards ahead of him, 

Mack readied to take the last few steps 

toward Jake and Maggie. His thoughts 

turned toward when it all began with him, 

Jake, Maggie, and Louis. 


It was the Brugger murder case 

right in the alley behind Chez Pepe’s

in the River Quay. He and Mack 

were scoping out the alley for 

clues or witnesses. And they found


Louis having his evening repast 

down aways from the dumpster. 

As always Louis had set a fine table,

that is a cardboard table, resplendent 

with chipped crystal goblet, cracked China, 


and a bottle of red, Rothschild’s 1959, 

no more than two glasses gone, 

pieces of salmon, wilted herbs, 

and the blue vase with rescued purple 

orchids whose aromatic scent filled Louis’s senses.


 Louis witnessed the murder, so Jake 

and Mack were talking with him 

about what he saw that early morning, when 

Chez Pepe’s host, Maggie, came out the 

back door for a smoke. She saw them 

talking with Louis, for whom she watched out. 


Mack continued to take the last few steps

that would take him to Maggie now in this time, 

Jake, and Louis too.


©Paul Goldman April 27, 2022

[art by Dawn Goldman, 2009]

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