UMBRELLAS AND BIRTHDAY CAKE
On our way home, my daughter and I
pick up an umbrella and cake
for my motherís 62nd birthday.
All day, Iíve been told, it looked
like the sad clouds wanted to grieve,
but I was stuck in a windowless room.
Now, we sit around the kitchen table
and chitchat about the recession,
my motherís friends who have lost
everything and will have to work
until they die just to pay interest on debt.
It wasnít supposed to be like this,
she says sipping wine, we shouldnít
leave our children with less
than we had, she says and my daughter,
hearing the rain tapping at the window,
hands my mother the umbrella:
decorated with Van Goghís Irises
and asks if itís time for cake.
We turn lights low, watch the candles
dance like red and orange irises: quivering,
twisting images that arenít meant to last.
Rebecca Schumejda's full-length collection, Falling Forward, was published by sunnyoutside, 2009; and my chapbook, The Map of Our Garden was published by verve bath, 2009. She received her MA in Poetics and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.