Chase Twichell

Fireworks or Gunfire?
September 21, 2018 Twichell Chase

Fireworks or Gunfire?

It’s just somebody sighting his gun—
deer season opens on Friday.


In the north country, many people hunt.
Bow-hunting, crossbow, muzzle-loader,


then long guns, and guns with scopes.


First birds, then bear, bobcat, deer,
and finally the smaller fur-bearers. Traps.


In Miami, my first thought
would have been fireworks.


Any occasion, any time of year,
from rooftops, condo balconies, private yards—


people there like to shoot bright unfurling
pink and green chrysanthemums into the sky,


then watch all their petals come apart.


Of course there was gunfire in Miami too,
all the time, mostly hand guns


and assault rifles, but always far away—
in a mall, on I-90, in the Gardens, on TV,


though a man in our building was shot,
and another in the park next-door.


Love in one case, drugs in the other.


It’s strange to think of Miami now,
here in the north woods as tiny pearls of sleet
begin to fill the crisp cups of leaves.

Chase Twichell’s  new book, Things as  It Is, is  forthcoming  from Copper Canyon in fall 2018. She lives in upstate NY and teaches in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.