Controlled Burn

by Cynthia Good

Fire blazing in the fire place

Then it sparked into flame, Christmas
           in the fire pit, a burst three times
                       the size when it stood in the den

festooned in bows, the Fraser Fir—
           a shooting spiral of tangerine light.
                       What should we burn next?

you ask. Let’s burn the stuffed frog
          your son wasn’t here to unwrap,
                      burn my mother’s last wishes,

and the envelope filled with love notes
          from the ex. Burn winter and all
                      of last year. Burn

the acorns in the yard, their little hearts.
          Ashes float in our coffee, like snow
                      in your hair as smoke stings

our eyes until we turn our backs
          to the smoldering, and medallions
                      of shimmering leaves

catch the sunrise like Monet’s
          speckled early spring,
                      beginnings and endings,

surprising as they are inevitable.
          I’ll hold onto the frog. You can’t
                      burn anything all the way,

it only turns to ash-
          giving us grace
                      to let go of what’s gone.

Category: Featured, Fiction, Poetry