It is cold this morning. My body’s spontaneous shiver
shakes off the dampness that seeps & seeps & seeps
into every weakness, visible and invisible, making it
difficult to think of anything other than cold—every-
thing has stopped short, yet feels like eternity. I don’t
want this to be my last thought, like my tongue’s memory
stuck to the icy black lamppost that was tasted on a dare
while we waited impatiently in the cold to be picked up
from the convent’s curb. This morning I want to fly—arms
outstretched— as I did as a child, waiting for a quick
dismissal from the cold with a simple prayer: O sweet jesus,
take me in your heart for awhile.
Once manicured, now fallow
this winter field is left alone
with the stubble of its past.
A solitary crow floats over-
head, coasting on wind’s
Nature can only do so
much. I hear my heart-
beat when I least expect
it, reminding me that I
have grown accustomed
to this stillness.
The gutter leaks snow-
melt that will rust the gate’s
hinge. I gather my strength
for another day, knowing I
will have to pry my way
back into the field.
M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Between Worlds is her most recent chapbook, featuring lyric essays, flash fiction and prose poems (Foothills Publishing, 2013). Recent poems, flash fictions, and essays in When Women Waken, Poppy Road Review, Wild: A Quarterly, Eunoia Review, Andrea Reads America, Canto, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Poetry Storehouse, Avocet, Right Hand Pointing, Tiny-lights, The Lake (U.K.), The Kentucky Review, and more. She is the Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College. You can follow her musings on writing and creative sustainability on Red Rooster Farm on mjiuppa.blogspot.com.