M. J. Iuppa


It’s as though my face is an invitation. I look oddly sympathetic, which means someone is going to say something to me when I least expect it. My daughter has warned me not to look as if I’m interested. Her own face casts a gargoyle frown, protecting me from the slightest nudge or bump; unaware of the kind poke & sideways glance of the Latina who has made room for me next to her on the subway bench. I smile an out of tune smile & settle in, watching her shake her paper open to the furniture ads, holding it just so I can see. She says she’s going to buy a kitchen table and chairs. She wants to have a place to eat, with family & friends. She’s sick of eating standing up. Her place has been a mess for 16 years. I nod my head, and she goes on to tell me that she’s a Federal employee, with benefits, and has too many grown children who still live with her. She’s retired now, and her sons, who are college educated and ministers of faith, have given her money to buy this table and chairs. She can’t believe it. She asks me what I think, but before I can answer, she asks me about my daughter who is listening like a sleeping cat. My daughter looks up as the overhead announcement declares: Union Square. She taps me: Be quick. I make believe: I’m ready to go.

M.J. Iuppa lives on Red Rooster Farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Her poems, lyric essays, and fictions have appeared recently in a number of journals and anthologies including Poppy Road Review, Grey Sparrow Press: Snow Jewel Anthology, 100 Word Story, Eunoia Review, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney (Norton), among others. She is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger