Untitled Country Review (ISSN 2152-7903), published quarterly during 2010-2013, features poetry, book reviews, photography, and short works of non-fiction. Thank you for visiting.

Issue 6: M.J. Iuppa

by Paula Lietz

The Bees

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?
                                   ~ Neruda

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.

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