Poetry Drawer: Season of Quarantine: Second Chance: Obscurity: Fair Weather by M. J. Iuppa

Season of Quarantine

Humidity floods this after-
                 noon—cicadas’ fiery
clicks flash against ribs—rise

& dissolve in heat lost
                 among trees. Crook-
necked squash listen to

this siren call.  Thorny-leafed,
                too pale to be touched; yet, I
slide my hand under its shade

that cradles a drowsy bee.
               Ripple of air sighs over-
head as if I could drown

in the wish of swimming  
               above water that’s both
tranquil & turbulent like

my temper in this incessant
               heat— this impossible
nature clinging to

my mind’s capacity
               to dispel a season
of quarantine.

Second Chance

Scooping handfuls of beans, glossy and freckled, makes us
feel richer than our neighbours. As if we have the knowledge
of the Dark Ages quickening inside beans that are impelled
to split overnight into sturdy stem and ladder of leaves that
spiral up, and up, and up in air, like Jack’s foolish dream, we
dream of beans becoming our winter currency—our desire
to hoard mason jars: full—like grace, if we share without in-
tention—still, we resist thinking twice in our garden’s revival,
we know empathy’s fickle yet immutable, surviving among
glacier stones unearthed every year, like markers trying to
chart a map of losses, like our sudden sadness, seeing a bean
sprout backwards to give us our second chance.


Standing beneath a clear night sky, the dark
that surrounds you, swallows you, making

you nearly invisible as you look up to see
so many stars flashing their faint light

through phantoms of space, searching for
you sinking in the yard’s soft grass, with-

out certainty that you are there, waiting—
everywhere— at once.

Fair Weather

Freshly turned earth crumbles beneath my fingertips, I
          start again, imagining what these new rows will
become . . . First seeds, no bigger than dark specks, sown
          in trays that hold the promise of what will sprout
like little green fires, flickering in daylight growing second
          by second— seeds not missing a breath, now aching
to straddle this new ground, where I settle them in-
          to raised beds; and, as I plant my good intentions, I
smell what these seedlings are before they reveal their plain
         selves, whole and upright; and I dream I will  make it
to the end of summer to wash them under a rain barrel’s spigot
        and bring them inside to prepare a meal we will savour
together— if you are my fair weather— and still here with me.

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.

M.J. Iuppa’s Website

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