Rising in morning’s half-shadows, in the purr of rain
caught in the back of the gutter’s throat, I gather ripe
tomatoes sitting in flats on the porch and bring them
in to be processed in the steamy kitchen where pots
rattle their lids & scalding water spits so many stars
upon the stovetop’s elements, sputtering within rings
of fire until there is no evidence of spills—only water-
marks left singed at the edges, that faint smell of
ruin—a bitterness of hours, of incessant prayers spent
in silence that isn’t silence at all; no, no—it’s protest
on the counter, standing in rows of execution, the jars
seal one after the other—thunk, thunk, thunk—such
small deaths, followed by the indifference of hard rain.
M. J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 29 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog: https://mjiuppa.blogspot.com for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew.