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The Ghost of Rabbie Burns ©

Laurence Overmire
Oregon, USA
2006

My grandmother Mary
Somewhat bitterly recalled
How the family was
Swindled, by an unscrupulous
Brother-in-law who stole
The family inheritance through
A trickery of legal wrangling.

But he was just a businessman
Doing what comes naturally
Making money fist over hand.

While she was a dreamer
With a poet's heart-

In the fields with her sister
Painting cornstalks
Singing songs in the parlor
The moon peeping through the window...

Not for her, the dreary
Ashland farm, rain-soaked in
Ohio.

No.

She belonged to another world:
A mansion high on a Scottish hill
With a great wooden staircase and
Curling banister
Where, in a rocker by the fire, on cold
Winter evenings, the ghost of
Rabbie Burns would set her
On his knee and whisper

Stories of the Highlands.

She married a teacher
A man of honor and little money
And lived a simple life
Nothing fancy, no, but sure
There can be no doubt that
In the end

Hers was a dream worth keeping.



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