|by Paula Lietz|
How many bees are there in a day?
We stood together
beneath the crab apple’s
wide umbrella: Listen, you said,
let’s not leave anything out –
And so we faced each other,
in that green afternoon light, paying
attention – the bees’ rhapsody
swelled above our heads
like wishes, like shooting stars.
Is there anything in the world sadder
than a train standing in the rain?
Sitting alone on a train in winter rain, the windows
cloud with waiting, yet inside this compartment
some decisions have been made. I have taken
a seat with my back to the engine, wanting
to pull slowly away from where I’ve been.
The letter in my hands doesn’t change anything;
nonetheless I hold on to it. I lean my head
against the cool glass and close my eyes for
a moment’s relief – the lurch of the train wakes
me to the sight of a couple who have settled in seats
across the aisle. He’s reading a newspaper. She’s next
to him – her gaze unblinking as she slowly rolls a string
of pearls between her fingertips – her lips poised
as if she were about to say something . . .
I shiver in a quick chill and pull my sweater tighter,
knowing each one of us is wrapped up in one thought.
M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Her most recent chapbook is As the Crows Flies (Foothills Publishing, 2008) and second full-length collection, Within Reach, (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010). She is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY.