by M.J. Iuppa
Sitting in the discomfort of being here, I know you are listening
and not listening; I know you have things on your mind. I know
you are looking at your keyboard, doing two things at once; wishing
the cat would jump up on your lap, or the dog begging to have its
head scratched, or your 8-year-old, who has been quiet all morning,
pleading outside your workroom for a cheese & mustard sandwich
on soft white bread, without crusts, and cut into triangles & served
on the red plate that says: This Is Your Day.
And, you will shout as we read your lips:
Wait, I am trying to do something. Give me a minute.
I know you’re listening for the reassuring sound of your child’s full
body thud just outside your door, and those tiny nails (you really
should clip those nails), dragging against the hardwood floor, in
that slow, deep scratch that takes your breath & proves that I know
you are listening and not listening; I can see your eyes close, even
as I am talking, and I am grateful that you showed up today. I know
you know time is precious. You don’t need to hear it.
Refresh— start, again.
M.J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 32 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew. Varada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.