We watched for weeks
as they prepared the old Barr place—
trees too near cut down
windows boarded up
roof shingles peeled off
safe perimeter marked with yellow tape.
And then gasoline poured, match struck,
eager flames trying to escape out windows
only to be doused and contained.

It’s like chemo, she said,
And I put my arm around her.
Yes, I know.
We, two sturdy brick fireplaces still standing,
watched the house come down.



Judy Johnson