iuppa
Ontario Chronicle, 1970
by M.J. Iuppa

I was the one who waited on the battered dock
until the last possible moment, hypnotized
by the sun’s blood-orange tokens dimpling
the lake’s slow swell of waves rising but
not breaking before reaching the lee shore.
I remember dreaming then, my future sealed
in the horizon’s thin envelope of light.

Where did it go?
                              Love called me to hurry
back to the bonfires burning bright — the bird-
house with its nesting purple martins — some
flew beyond the drizzle of sparks to feed on
mosquitoes stirred up by billowing smoke.

Tourists found this summer ritual a prophesy:
the fierce chrysanthemum arcing in the night
sky — iridescent petals floating on Ontario’s
stillness. I found this summons to walk
its shimmering path
terrifying —

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The morning leaving for college, 17 years old (September 1970).

SOURCE: First published in The Poetry Storehouse (April 2014).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. She is Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor at St. John Fisher College. Her third full length poetry collection is Small Worlds Floating from Cherry Grove Collections, (August 2016).