Late October blooms—zinnia and marigold confetti found at the foot of the sycamore that slowly undresses itself, back to the rinse of wind, leaf by mottled leaf—like a nude, turning modestly into a bath…
Hardly a calm afternoon here among my kitchen’s clutter—the knife, the wooden spoon, the boiling pots—windows gone foggy in the warm bubble of applesauce lifting its lid in syncopation—I lose myself in the charity of putting by, thinking how sweet this tang of cinnamon will be in mid-winter—small cloud of comfort escaping from its sealed jar…
Shifting air, the uninvited chill that makes us hold ourselves close, I see it coming over the lake, a hushed perversion that finds its way into our most intimate places, making us shiver when we least expect it. Is it death passing its hand over our bodies, deciding if it’s today or tomorrow? We feel its presence in our bones, which makes us look, room to room, for each other, without saying why we’re suddenly aware of being alone.
Last night, a killing frost anointed the gardens. This morning, I walk among vines gone to bone unable to shake the feeling that I’ve missed something…I look cautiously ahead—my breath comes to life, inviting me to step inside my future.
M. J. Iuppa, Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program, Writer-in-Residence (1999-2015) and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College, has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12 grades, since 1986 in Rochester, NY, and the surrounding area. She lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario, where she and her husband Peter Tonery have been committed to food sustainability for the past 10 years.