Barn Swallows, Returning
by M.J. Iuppa

                        Is it true they scatter
                        transparent letters across the sky?
                                            —Pablo Neruda

Uncanny scissor-switch wings
cut an alphabet of sound echoing

against our barn’s sagging doors that
stand open a crack, letting them in . . .

Pity us, whose voices are chained in
our throats, who can’t charm doors

like these constant shadows soaring
from day to night into the next day,

making certain their colony of nests
are full of salutations that greet us

every time we cross the threshold
into a life we find difficult, but waiting

for us to begin again, and again . . .


M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  
Her most recent publications are a chapbook,
As the Crows Flies
(Foothills Publishing, 2008), and her second full-length collection,
Within Reach (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.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 6, Number 2
(Fall 2011)

Copyright © 2011
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.