I lifted weights in the
cellar as
the furnace rumbled
on and off
and ghosts hung back in the
where Gramp had hidden the
during Prohibition
when gangsters had knocked
at the back door:
Mugs and Bugs and Legs–
the bar room supported the
family, brothers, nephews, cousins;
Grandma and all her kin–
I return there in dreams
only the bar is a ship
landlocked, prow pointed
to the playground next door
of empty swings, bleachers, and
a merry-go-round.

Wayne F. Burke's poetry has been widely published online and in print (including in Dissident Voice). He is the author of eight published full-length poetry collections -- most recently BLACK SUMMER, 2021, Spartan Press. He lives in Vermont (USA). Read other articles by Wayne F..