March 30, 2016

Tailspin by M.J. Iuppa

An overstuffed dresser drawer, one that sticks when pulled out gingerly,
explodes with the last tug, revealing its garden of scarves—ones, I haven’t

touched in years, I touch now. First with my eyes, I find what I’ve missed
these eighteen years, threads of luxury— a fine gauge— warmth.

I know what to expect when I pick it from the swim of colors. It billows
in length, like a breath of wind, like light, and settles around my neck

with an ease I can’t quite explain until I smell the smell that is my mother’s
Tailspin. Perfume of licorice, of oranges— stories heard with my cheek

pressed against the crook of her neck. It seems impossible that she’s still
here, in this capacious cloth— once I took this scarf without her knowing it;
now I have it without knowing. How did I wind up in this? Her scarf around
my neck, her face floating in my dresser’s mirror looking back at me.

M.J. Iuppa lives on Red Rooster Farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Most recent poems, lyric essays and fictions have appeared in the following journals: Poppy Road Review, Black Poppy Review, Digging to the Roots, 2015 Calendar, Ealain, Poetry Pacific Review, and Grey Sparrow Press: Snow Jewel Anthology, among others.  She is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.


  1. What a beautiful poem, and tribute. As I read it, quite amazingly, I smelled my own mother's perfume. Incredible!

  2. A splendid tribute to your mother. What a beautiful poem, M.J.

  3. Beautiful, touching, are meaningful memories expressed by true artisan!

  4. Yes and how I wanted to clutch all my late husband's thing. To feel them.