Two Poems

Burning Permit

We miss solstice by a week,
backyard bonfire blazes
through old furniture, tax returns,
broken garden tools.
Flames reflect in my husband’s eyes
doubling the demon.
He sweated his youth in Florida,
wants to return, burn.

Papery white ash
encircles the pit, extinguishes
hopeful sparks like snow.

All Walt Disney's Fault

Spring-fed lakes dot old maps of Florida.
Dream Lake survives, tainted by sewage,
too dirty for swimming
but deep enough
for drunk Mrs. Dalton to miss the garage,
bury her Cadillac.
Deep enough to drown a distraught widow,
for two migrants to disappear,
then surface when a helicopter is searching
for someone else.

On New Year’s Eve, local boys shoot fireworks
from the docks.
Sparks hiss as they hit stagnant water.
Make a wish.

—Jan Chronister, Maple, WI