portion of the artwork for Rebecca Schumejda's poem

Three Days Before Sentencing
Rebecca Schumejda

I swam twenty-three laps today.
We went to the library and my daughter
checked out a pile of graphic novels.
She prefers pictures over words.
I will make her a lettuce and mayonnaise
sandwich for lunch. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I miss
you. You will be sentenced in three days
for a crime no one believes you committed
in your right mind. I may or may not
get around to laundry. The baby has been
fussy lately. Mark is still working on the plumbing
in the house we used to live in, he’s getting it ready
for someone else to move in. I thought
moving would make our lives easier. Between us,
we sleep eight hours a night. Work. Work. Work.
Then tomorrow, the next day, the day after.
You know the length of your incarceration;
sentencing is part of the procedure we all wish
could be skipped. All of this and nothing.
Last time I visited, you asked me if
I thought her family hated you.
You killed their daughter, their sister, I replied.
I haven’t gone back to see you since.
I hate the way the guards ask,
Are you carrying any weapons?
before they buzz you in. The days go on
the way they did before, except there is this film
over everything like when you heat up a mug of milk
in the microwave. Sometimes someone asks how I am,
and all I tell them is that I started swimming again.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 50 | Fall/Winter 2017