On My Youngest Daughter’s Third Birthday

by Rebecca Schumejda

I think about you as she blows out her candles,
how you held her just once
while you were in county awaiting trial.
She will always be six months younger
than the crime you committed
and I am embarrassed to admit
that’s how I keep track of how long you’ll be away.

Rebecca Schumejda is the author of several full-length collections including Falling Forward (sunny outside 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 Stubborn Mule 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.