Halloween Costumes…by Rebecca Schumejda

reading21

Steve tells me you’re slipping again
as he banks the seven in the side;
this is another reason why I hate

Halloween, the way you scoop the past
out like pumpkin guts and carve
your fears on your face. Even when

we were children, Steve and I calculated
time via the transitions of your emotions:
autumn’s always shrouded in self-

pity and regrets. Wet leaves waiting
on asphalt like unexpeted accidents;
the hue of the leaves steal our eyes

from the road; I thought you were getting
better; but I am busy, always busy,
rushing away from myself before the sun

casts shadows like people’s judgments.
My father’s brother, who visits least, offers the most
advice. So stinking drunk himself,

he tells Steve that he can knock him out;
maybe twenty years ago, before gout and
the wear and tear of disillusionment.

I envy the grip of the last leaves: holding on
despite fate and time, they are the uncle
swinging at air, you topping off your glass,

the brother’s words versus the uncle’s fists,
me playing busy and away, afraid
of inheriting our father’s weak heart.

I remember all the costumes you sewed by hand:
my favorite, a nurse’s uniform I saved,
hangs, like all our mistakes, in my dusty closet.

(from her new book Falling Forward awailable at sunnyoutside press)

6 Responses to “Halloween Costumes…by Rebecca Schumejda”

  1. Rebecca Schumejda lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her wonderful husband and amazing daughter. She received her MA in Poetics and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and her BA from SUNY New Paltz. She teaches at an alternative high school. Her new collection Falling Forward was just released from sunnyoutside press. sunnyoutside also published her chapbook Dream Big, Work Harder and her poem “Logic” on a postcard. Her first chapbook The Tear Duct of the Storm was published by Green Bean Press. Most recently her work has or will appear in Lyric-the poetry section of Somerville News, Night Train, Theives Jargon, Words Dance, and Zygote in my Coffee. You can check out her website http://www.rebeccaschumejda.com.

  2. Mmmm….pumpkin guts! What a lovely poem

  3. Becca,

    You totally rock. I am truly often in awe of your work.

  4. Thank you for your kind words… especially from writers I respect so much. Best, Rebecca

  5. You are an amazing teacher. you have helped me grow with my poems and songs. i am very greatfull

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