M.J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program
and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College; and since 2000
to present, is a part time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at
Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students,
K-12, in Rochester, NY, and surrounding area. Most recently, she was awarded
the New York State Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching,
2017. She has four full length poetry collections, This Thirst (Kelsay Books,
2017), Small Worlds Floating (2016) as well as Within Reach (2010) both from
Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003); and 5
chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin NY (USA).

One Breath, One Wish

The wind claps—

air spins a round

of anyone's guess— of revolution

that shivers between a stand

of winter trees

~ ~ ~

When the meadow is empty,

except for a bit of snow,

a bit of precocious wind pressing

against what's left

to be removed— that errant stalk of cat's tail

casting its lissome shadow— long

~ ~ ~

I am not sure if I've ever agreed with you

whole-heartedly— my reserve of air

just before dark keeps me up-

right as mercury dips below


Seeking Shelter

All that is lost— momentarily misplaced

in the stillness of woods filled

with shell-shocked relics— those stone

footings of barracks left in haphazard

heaps covered in bright green bits of

lichen and moss— small fires of light

glowing through the clouds' ceiling

cracks, alighting a path to the frozen

pond tucked inside the deep pocket

of red osier— an empty room

waiting to be occupied.


This morning I woke, remembering

dream's distant shoals—

sensing the sun's radiation on my neck and shoulders,

repairing my sallow face— its deep pity for

my seemingly detached feet & hands— how strange it is

to become a mottled crayfish, single-minded & armored,

ready to scuttle along the rocky ledge of this creek, with its icy

waters tumbling, over and under, casting phrases

of obscurities— a hundred shades of yellow rise to the surface

to confuse my sense of direction . . .

This morning I woke, checking

my body's temperature to see if I were warm-blooded or cold.

Could I see the familiar or not? Could I lift myself up,

out from under the bedding that swaddles me in another

winter's sleep?

This morning, I woke.

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