She poured drinks at a seaside
And served dry, thirsty seamen,
The seamen's first stop, when a ship made
And Molly there to greet them.
A big woman with a heart to match,
A no-nonsense kind of gal,
"Come one! Come all!" was Molly's call,
She was every sailor's pal.
She was every seaman's sweetheart,
His mother, sister, friend,
She'd heard so many sailors' tales,
She knew how each would end.
Coarse jokes she did not like at all,
Nor foul talk amongst the men,
And many guys found themselves outside,
If their language did offend.
She ruled the roost with an iron hand,
A sailor's rank made no matter,
She knew all their tricks and got her kicks,
From the seamen's idle banter.
Oh sure, they liked to tease old Moll,
She'd just laugh and tease them back,
Her sense of humor, wry and rich,
And full and hearty was her laugh.
Sometimes new guys would try to pry,
Into Molly's unknown past,
Then she'd freeze up without a smile,
And not go down that path.
One night a lad came into Moll's,
Who had not been in before,
He'd been at sea a long, long time,
According to the beard he wore.
"What'll ya' have, son?" asked Moll with a smile,
"A glass of milk, Ma'am," he replied,
The men in the place hooted and howled,
"MILK?" They laughed until they cried.
Moll turned on her heel, her hands on her hips,
Mad as a hornet was she,
All the mirth stopped, at Moll's icy glance,
The place grew still as could be.
"You ain't makin' no fun of no lad
Who's been at sea as long as he.
Now, listen up," old Molly said,
"Treat him proper-like ... or LEAVE!"
Then Moll picked up their unfinished mugs,
And their half-drunk glasses of ale,
The sailors, in shock, were disgruntled,
But their whines were of no avail.
Next Moll disappeared to the rear,
While the men at the bar grumbled loudly,
She shortly returned with fresh, new drinks,
And she grinned as she served the men proudly.
"On the house, gents!" Molly cried out,
As she set their glasses down,
The men gave a cheer; their gloom disappeared,
Their pleasure was out of bounds.
Though she seldom drank, Moll raised a glass, too,
"Welcome home, lad!" she exclaimed,
"Hear! Hear!" the men, in unison, yelled,
Their eagerness unrestrained.
"Bottoms up, guys!" urged Moll with a smile,
Each man raised his glass, "Down the hatch!"
With zest, they gulped down Molly's free drink,
Which gave each man a white mustache.
They coughed and sputtered and choked,
"Good grief, Moll! What was that?
Are you trying to poison us all?
Moll threw back her head and laughed.
"Cantcha' handle a little milk?"
She asked, with tongue in cheek,
"Big, burly guys, like you?" she laughed,
"Don't nobody want repeats?"
"Well, it's not bad stuff," one guy spoke up,
As he held out his empty glass,
"I'll have another," he winked at Moll,
"Another white mustache."
Pretty soon another hand reached out.
And then another and another,
Moll was having herself a ball,
As if she were everyone's mother.
And that was the way it all began,
Fresh milk drunk as a toast,
Served up by Moll, at a seaside bar,
The first Dairy Queen on the coast!
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright July 2003 ~ Revised January 2008