Controlled Burn - Frank C. Modica

Dry brush
accumulates
in the undergrowth,
stifling new possibilities
on the forest floor.

A drought compounded
by over-development
damages the natural order,
needing periodic fires to
sweep away the morass.

But unpredictable winds
can blow sparks and debris
out of control. Do we fight
the wildfires or let them burn?

And so life in our sixth
or seventh decades; dry griefs
combustible losses, tinder
ready for any spark to ignite
a personal Armageddon.

Frank C. Modica is a cancer survivor and retired teacher from Urbana, Illinois, who taught children with special needs for over thirty-four years. When he isn’t writing poetry and flash fiction, he’s riding a bike or volunteering with various local agencies. His writing is animated by interests in history, geography, and sociology.  Frank’s short story “Homemade” was selected as an Honorable Mention in the Midway Journal 2017 -1000 Below Flash Prose and Poetry contest. His poem “Rainbow Bus” was the 2017 Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Transit District Poem Contest winner and was featured on all the local buses for a month.  His work is forthcoming or has appeared in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Frost Meadow Review, Green Ink Poetry, Blue Mountain Review, and Raconteur Review. Frank’s first chapbook, “What We Harvest,” nominated for an Eric Hoffer book award, was published this past fall by Kelsay Books.