Il Vecchio Camino

by Foster Trecost

They won't let me make a fire in the fireplace 

It's for decorative purposes only, I'm told

And the lease threatens eviction if anyone

Tries to use it


It's not much to look at, at least not anymore

The mantle is missing and it lacks intricate brickwork

The years have reduced it to a square-shaped

Hole in the wall


I suppose there was a time when hungry tongues

Turned wood to hot coals and kept the room

Warm, and anyone sitting in the room was

Kept warm, too


Maybe it remembers lovers snugged on the hearth 

Or marshmallows stabbed with sticks

I wonder if it remembers its very first fire

Or the very last

Part of me likes to think it does

But not the largest part of me