Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
 
sol·stice
Danielle Barnhart

sōlstəs,sälstəs/

noun: solstice; plural noun: solstices
either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its
highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days.


They said, at least she got to burn it
down. It was a community effort.
The bank was good enough
to donate the house down the street
to the Fire Department—the one her
little girl was lured into,
away from her cousins on the way home
from school
on the first longest day of her life.

As if a mother could torch her own
mind—her daughter’s face
wrapped in plastic.
Wide eyes searching, twisted eyelashes
bent back.
The shortest day of her short life.
Hand-me-downs found
in a little pile (like the child)
on the dusty floor.

They zoned it for a controlled burn,
and handed the woman—what?
A match?

About Danielle Barnhart

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