Expectations — after Clock with Blue Wing, 1949 Marc Chagall A woman, with a wide-eyed stare, stands in night’s open doorway, watching the sparks of fireflies rise above the village’s clay roofs into the skies of Scorpius. She looks and looks and looks, with her arms holding herself still in the intimate hour of ten past ten, imagining stolen kisses that once were hers, long ago, in the shadows of the intricate clock whose precise works didn’t chime its warning, like the morning’s rooster or the fleeting black- bird’s dark wing passing overhead like a sleight of hand . . . So warm that night, she can still smell the perfume of roses and hear the yelp of hunting dogs running in hedgerows. She thinks of Artemis who, like her, never married, but was one to live alone among snow-covered mountains. She learned all this the hard way—to understand the price of happiness. Or, was it what the itinerant man told her that summer night? To carry something unknown to someone who would accept it in good faith, like her broken clock, keeping the intimate hour of ten past ten.
M.J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 33 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.