Past dinghy storefronts, past doorways with broken thresholds, a girl wearing rain boots stomps through puddles; her green backpack stuffed with sticks the width of thumbs—her left fist wrapped around a bunch of just picked daffodils. She’s going somewhere—her cheeks flushed, her lips pursed—she looks over her shoulder to see who’s following her. We look too, wondering who’ll round the corner, calling after her. Is she the canal town’s thief or darling? Her brick-red curls bounce high as she crosses the street, heading for the tracks. She whistles, and her stray dog catches up in no time.

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.

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