Wayne F Burke – white lines, rat



white lines



drove the last hour of my trip down

the Interstate at

80 mph

mesmerized by the flashing white lines

and the dark night beyond and behind

and pinpricks of lights ahead,

and I made it to my place in record time

but even as I slept

I kept moving

rushing forward, but to a destination






Gramp took me to the back room

of his bar where beer kegs and empties

were stored, and a little bowl of white

powder on the floor, and Gramp,

wearing a white apron and smoking,

said “look here m’boy,” and held up

a big rat, beady-eyed, snake-tailed,

and I withered and crawled up into

myself and backed, on scratchy rodent’s

feet, to the door, as Gramp, smiling and

smoking, swung the rat into a garbage




Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in Boston Poetry Magazine, Industry Night, FORGE, The Commonline Journal, Northeast Corridor, and elsewhere.  He lives in the central Vermont area.


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