Rebecca Schumejda is the author of Falling Forward, a full-length collection of poems (sunnyoutside, 2009); From Seed to Sin (Bottle of Smoke Press, 2011), The Map of Our Garden (verve bath, 2009); Dream Big Work Harder (sunnyoutside press 2006); The Tear Duct of the Storm(Green Bean Press, 2001); and the poem “Logic” on a postcard (sunnyoutside).
She received her MA in Poetics and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and her BA in English and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and daughter.
Two poems – “Then He Begged Me to Go Back with Him and Rescue the Others” and “Three Days Before Sentencing” – from poet Rebecca Schumejda.
All day I search for words;
I want to write a beautiful poem.
The Butcher, alone at the front table,
slices all the balls in without blinking.
Because I understand this,
I want to sculpt him into syllables.
I study his form,
the contours of his experience,
As he draws back the seven ball,
I consider him cast in bronze,
balancing the bulkiness of his decisions.
Pensive like a ballerina
grappling with gravity, a Degas.
Once he sacrificed this marriage
for one dance with a lovely lady.
He told me that those are risks you take
when you beleive there’s something better.
For decades, Wally caromed
from one one-night stand to the next
whiel his wife waited out the years,
faithful like a porch light,
fifty-five years and counting
burnt-out bulbs. Their love
pulled tight like felt
stretched ove rthe billiard table.
Lately our converstions are
punctuated with doubt and suspicion.
Over 9-ball, we discuss divorce,
how three couples we know
are separating. Our failures, illness,
and miscues are disruptions,
slight wrinkles in the felt
altering the course balls travel.
Ten, twenty, thrity, forty, fifty,
years fro now, will I wake up
beside you, the faint smell
of gamble lingering on your
pillowcase? Or will each crease
be a disappointment, changing the way
we travel toward one another?