Minutes before midnight, a shot rang out, over
snowbound fields, echoing off our barn’s
weathered wall and I woke with its blast
banking in my ear—its sound tasted
like iron—my clenched jaw vibrating, I
cried out in fear of who was lurking
in the orchard’s darkness, and you
answered from the stairs: It’s not 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 K-12 students in Rochester, NY, and the 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 (Cherry Grove Collections, 2016), Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010) and Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003), and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin, NY.