Charcoal Wood Fire by Pexels on Pixabay

The key to a good cookout is the charcoal
Bob said as he put a match
To the dark mound of fuel in the grill
You got to get the best.

He got his charcoal from the timbers
Of an old pirate ship
That ran aground down the coast from here
By the old fort a century ago.

Men died when they leaped from the rigging
And drowned in the hungry sea.
The rest died on the rocks or burned
When the lightning struck.

We all laughed and sipped our beers
Some sort of pale ale
With a name like Scurvy Mutt or Boney Brew.
Bob spares no expense.

But we stopped laughing when we saw
Skulls in the grey smoke
And heard the sharp creak of a falling mast
In the crackle of the grill flame.

None of that bothered Bob even a little.
He kept on grilling
Even as pale lightning raced overhead
And a chill breeze followed.

Most of us moved inside after all that
Or ducked under his pergola
I hadn’t even noticed the flagstones of his patio
Were ancient, worn grave markers.

The lightning didn’t last long nor the wind.
And Bob kept on grilling.
The steaks smelled absolutely divine
And tasted even better.

The main inspiration for this poem was the scene in John Carpenter’s masterpiece The Fog in which the piece of driftwood a young boy brings home wreaks havoc in a radio studio. Add to the a thought I’d had about whether using wood from a haunted house might cause your cookout to be haunted and here we are!

(Photo Credit: Pexels on Pixabay)