Nature Redux
by M.J. Iuppa

Long after saying goodbye, I found
the misplaced box, with its five Holland
bulbs & dried up peat, and thought
it was too late to plant your gift.

Still, I went through the steps, knowing
love had lost its shape.

Only the amaryllis—size of a woman’s
clenched fist—its index finger poised
in a hook—was ready to snag sunlight
passing in this winter’s cold spell.

And, the others—four of a kind—nested
like golden chicks—composed for a miracle.

Every hour of light gave me one more day
to imagine the hint of green steeping deeper—
soon paper whites & the red trumpet calling
from the sill, over snowy fields, breathless

as my heart is—anticipating
footsteps—and you, looking at me.

by M.J. Iuppa

To stare at cyclamens in a clay pot:
seven slender blooms
filmy white
like chemo children,
half-flower, half-being,
haloed by morning light.

To imagine human terms
in the protective leaves
that curl around
their wispy heads
while IVs’ mechanical beeps
call attention
to something that could go wrong.

by M.J. Iuppa

Fragrance of lemons, sprig of mint, peerless sky
bluing with day’s last light . . .

In the orchard, two yearling deer
pause to eat windfall apples—black & white chickens tick-ticking
around their hooves—feathered soft & curious, murmuring
diplomacy as they eat a bit of everything first.

The unnamed moon rises from behind
gathering clouds—its face holds the mirror of winter’s sleep—
an invitation to climb the spiral stairs rising high above . . .

O, let me sleep between earth and sky—
give me dreams carved in soapstone—make this hour last the night . . .


M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  Her
most recent chapbook is
As the Crows Flies (Foothills Publishing,
2008), and her second full-length collection,
Within Reach, was
published by Cherry Grove Collections (2010).  Iuppa is Writer-in-
Residence and Director of the Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher
College in Rochester, New York.

On “Nature Redux,” “Daydream of Catastrophe,” and “Sleep by
Life’s perennial nature—its redeeming quality: “to be”—becomes
apparent in the forced blooms in both “Daydream of
Catastrophe” and “Nature Redux.”  These poems capture those
moments we rarely speak out loud—our fear of loss, losing, lost—
whereas “Sleep by Numbers” evokes the prayer for a temporary
stay—a quiet hour to look inward and upward.  These poems are
elegies—lament followed praise—making us pay attention to the
ways life breaks us, yet makes us whole, again, and again.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 5, Number 2
(Fall 2010)

Copyright © 2010
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.
Daydream of Catastrophe
Sleep by Numbers