The music plays
and the years fold back
like the pages of a book
and people come alive
from the days
when I was a different person.

with her Oklahoma cowgirl shout
and her divinity deacon husband,
lost in his books,
while the pull of her
wild loins and hungry heart
tore her from his arms
as I watched in gaped amazement.

Little Lanny,
my childhood companion
as we prowled the shores
of Lake Michigan,
exploring the wild ravines
and overgrown, muddy thickets
along the towering bluffs
in exotic boyland adventures.

Sweet Tiffany,
with magic in her laughter and
the secret between her legs.

Carry on moody, moving melody,
carry on tear-stained lyrics,
carry me away
into the gray, warm cloud of memory

where the ghosts of the past
return to dance with me
as the music spins
and twirls and lifts me
to this sweet, soft spot
where I sit and wonder
at my arrival
as the last, lone survivor
on this listing ship of sorrows.

Chuck Kramer is a native Chicagoan who’s taught reading and writing in Chicago’s public schools. A poet who’s slammed at the Green Mill, his work has been published in Stray Bullets (an anthology of Chicago street poets) and numerous magazines. He has worked as a public relations writer, a free-lance journalist, and a theater critic.