on the page magazine

issue no. 11, summer 2004


Dot Com Denouement

by Zoë Francesca

In the end, Willy Wonka showed a nonchalance
hard to believe of someone who built a land
made of candy and gum.

He sent me for a ride in his rock candy caves,
on a cart of gingerbread
over hardened toffee tracks.

Willy paid me less attention than the coat hooks
in his closet, real hands that reached
out from the wall to smooth my worries.

He fed me gobstoppers, munchkin songs, and TV.
He tested me to keep his secrets.
He gave me endless days in play land,

invisible laughing gas,
and a brown chocolate river to
drown in, willingly.

Think of the kindly grandparents in Buffalo
who sent candy every Easter.
Hollow chocolate rabbits

and honeycomb squares.
They played no tricks, but Willy
flicked the licorice,

handed me a sugar paper chit of
soft and waffled promises.
I bit.

Zoë Francesca is contributing poetry editor at On the Page.

Ed. note: this poem first appeared in our summer 2001 issue.

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