Friday, May 3, 2019

Rebecca Schumejda

onefiftythreeam

When your house is framed with bones
and the walls sheet rocked with flesh

there is no room for full-length mirrors
or empty apologizes, what I am trying

to say is our oldest child can’t sleep
she wakes up hourly to tell me

she’s afraid and there is nothing
I can do to make her fears go away

except stay up until she falls back
to sleep. This structure is crumbing

what I am trying to say is that I am
tired of the way the past creaks in the

night like a floor when you are trying
to sneak back into your own space

the way a shadow becomes a river
the hum of the heater and then

the silence after it shuts off. Remember
nothing lasts forever except the memory

of who you were until you weren’t any longer.




The Cost of Common Household Items

While my first home is being raized
I watch The Price Is Right
in the hospital waiting room
and consider the elusiveness of time
how organs can be squeezed out
through small incisions made with robotic arms
how my own daughters’ first home
is close to uninhabitable
how this daytime game show
is still thriving after decades
how my mother used to say,
Boy that Bob Barker, he’s a looker.

Right after the surgeon calls me
into a small side room
to update me, Drew Carey yells,
Come on Down!
When the door closes
behind us, I can still hear the music,
the audience applause and my mother
saying he just doesn’t age.
Before I can sit down, the surgeon says,
I don’t think the cancer spread
outside of the uterus
and I start tearing up
close my eyes
picture that giant wheel slowing down—

maybe just maybe
I can be the daughter I want
rather than the daughter I’ve been.


Rebecca Schumejda is the author of several full-length collections including Falling Forward (sunnyoutside press), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books), Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press) and most recently Our One-Way Street (NYQ Books). She is currently working on a book forthcoming from Spartan Press. She is the co-editor at Trailer Park Quarterly. She received her MA in Poetics from San Francisco State University and her BA from SUNY New Paltz. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family. 



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