Now that the dust has settled a bit, I can get back to my exciting new– two of my poems were published in Alaska Women Speak literary journal!
I’ll post excerpts here. The first is a free verse poem, written before I ever knew how bad off my mom was in October, and before I was called back to assist in her passing. Amazing.
The second is a prose poem style about my Grandma Krupa, my dad’s mom, whom I still feel very close to, and who “visits” me in my times of most need. She was really a character – very “old school” Chicago South Side.
If you’d like to read more, I have several copies available for a donation of any amount to the Homewood Cancer Center, in my mom’s name: Margarita M. Krupa. Just email me a copy of the donation receipt, plus your mailing address, and the magazine is yours!
By: Marissa Krupa
She nursed three of us
While married to an alcoholic
She worked while we were at school
Then taught me cross-stitching at night
She took the dogs to the vet
But made it home to cook supper
Even Lithuanian dishes
She strung popcorn garland on the tree
Then read me The Velveteen Rabbit
She picked me up from school when I was sick
And wiped my dirty summertime feet before bed
She skied the moguls with me
And shuttled me to softball practice
And gymnastics, and piano lessons
She bought me sugar cookies at the bakery
After bandaging my bloody knees
She taught me how to drive stick shift
Then earned her private pilot’s license
She took me on a trip to Jamaica
After mending my school uniform
While helping me study
A never ending list, all the moments
Maybe not perfect, not always smiling
But she was there, just there.
By: Marissa Krupa
That was quite a day! We were the only tavern in the South Side with whiskey, on the day the war was over. Everybody came to the back door. The pockets of my housecoat were out to here! Full of money. It was really somethin’, just somethin’. I had to work for my family, so I quit school after 6th grade. That’s why you should always go to school. I got a job at a Hungarian grocery store. They were nice to me, but I was Polish, so I kept my mouth shut, and did whatever they said. I learned Hungarian, and they became nicer to me. That’s how I learned the business. Then when Grandpa and I got married, his mother gave us the tavern. Boy, was Auntie Flossie mad! She didn’t want no competition anymore in the neighborhood. But, ours was in Amazon, not in Hegewich. There’s always somethin’, ain’t it? No matter what you do, there’s always somethin’. Anyhow, Grandpa was big & strong then. If somebody acted up, he just threw them out! Oh, how I miss my Johnny. He did everything for me, everything. He built that house for me, the one across from the tavern. What I know about business is, they’ll always try to steal from the til. Just remember that. Nobody is honest these days. You just have to watch out for that. Buy property. That’s what we did.