She. switched off the lamp and left her mother in the dark. She. didn’t have anything more to say. Her mother died the next day. She. planned the funeral mass, a bit giddy. It was hard to disguise. She. had a smirk on her face—a closed casket was best. Two verses of “Eagle’s Wings” would be the right send-off. The choir agreed. At Mount Bliss cemetery, a bouquet of gardenias were dropped, one by one, into the grave; then a shovelful of red dirt. A baby cried. She. stayed after, never realizing her heart could sink so low.
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.