Kathryn V. Jacopi: These Are My Rewards
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente

About 500 Years


The waitress serves us ice waters

with straws, after I asked for no plastic.

I order medium-rare,

New Zealand steak dinners.

imported wine, Ebola-free Romaine.

the wick flickers in the frosted mountain candle holder.



A ski get-away,

B&Bs formerly homes,

brand-name boutiques

with off-season beach clothes,

got-it-all souvenir shops,

restaurants with boot, ski, and pole racks.


Vacationers’ chitchat at the bar

about the town we drove though

without running water,

schoolbooks published in 1997.



My well-earned rubdown

with handmade oil, earthy mud masks,

factory-perfected nail polish

that changes colors in the sun,

these are my rewards.



The steaks sizzle in butter.

I twirl the straw destined to the heaps,

the land fill, recycle bins, the oceans.

Kathryn V. Jacopi, a part-time English professor for Fairfield University, received her MFA in creating writing from Fairfield University. Her writings have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Statorec, Fjord, Manzano Mountain Review, and Drunk Monkeys. Kathryn's poem received first place for the 2016 Hysteria Writing Competition. When she’s not reading, writing, and lesson planning, Kathryn’s either kayaking or enjoying her partner’s fantastic cooking.