M.J. Iuppa


While everyone in the cottage slept in early morning, you’d wake to walk
the long stretch of beach that ended at a channel where Ontario fed into
Buck Pond. No one knew that you had slipped out of bed, out of your tie-
dyed nightshirt, into your bathing suit, and pried open the heavy blue door,
without it gushing its throaty ache. You preferred to be solo on the beach,
searching for all the pale blue heart-shaped stones, with bits of algae and
seaweed, found along the water’s edge. Later, you’d show your pail’s worth
of hearts to anyone who would say more than the usual that’s nice without
looking. You didn’t tell them about the other stones, the ones with faces,
that looked like they were laughing, or arguing, or daydreaming, depending
on how you’d arranged them on the wet sand. They were good company.
No one else found these faces that looked like cameos in the cup of your
hand. You hid them, like secrets, in a drawstring bag— you knew they
were searching for their lost hearts.

M.J. Iuppa's fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 30 years she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog: mjiuppa.blogspot.com for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew.
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