“Kurt” by Veronica Lupinacci

Kurt wouldn’t eat yellow rice. He
didn’t like that exotic food. He
narrated our trip to Iowa one
summer, had a story for every exit on
every road, tooth-whistling through
details while I dozed in the back seat
with Julia. There’s a Mac-Dawnulds,
there’s piggly wiggly, there’s hi-way
54, I remember one time me ‘n this
other fella we ran I tell you we
passed that er chicken plant…bug
nearly ran us off.. the ones got spots
on it an’ it flies…There’s another
Mac-Dawnulds…. He collected jelly
and ketchup packets. He built
trailers, he hung wallpaper, he made
broken things tick. Kurt had a
laundry basket of unopened
prescriptions from the VA hospital
behind his TV chair. He had a garage
full of car and flag tshirts, dungarees
piled with oils rags. He muttered in
his yard through winding aisles of
engine parts, stacks of fence
sections, hubcaps, pvc pipes, the hull
of a boat growing yellow weeds and
tadpoles. Teaching us to drive, he
just said Where you look is where yer
gonna go. The man never wore a
belt. But he let his wife dye his white
hair a yellow-orange color and he
kissed her every time he came home
and he kissed her every time he left
for work. From the time I was 11
years old he addressed me as “short
people.” While emptying his 98
year-old mother’s catheter bag into
the toilet one morning he told Julia
and I the secret to marriage. From
down the hall we heard him say Man
chases woman ‘til a man falls down.


Veronica Lupinacci is poet, an adjunct writing professor at State College of Florida, and a Grant Officer for Mote Marine Laboratory is Sarasota, Florida, U.S. where she crafts foundation proposals and reports to grow philanthropic support for marine conservation research and education. Her poetry has been published in journals including BOAAT, Gravel, McNeese Review, Haiku Journal, and The Pinch, and she is the author of a children’s book used for ESL education in Beijing, China.

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