portion of the artwork for Rebecca Schumejda's poem

The Blood Trail
Rebecca Schumejda

From this window, the trees look bare, but leaves fall like tears
of men who sleep in the cells near yours. I’ve written you so many letters
that will go unread, my ruminations will not save you. I write and I write
and throw out the evidence. Winter will bury the fall as summer will
supersede spring; you will spend over a quarter of a century behind bars.
Our mother will not survive your incarceration or for that matter her own.
No one empathizes with the mother of a murderer. You do not understand
the pain you have caused, you are heavily medicated, you are not here.
Actually, the problem isn’t that you aren’t here now, the issue is that you
were never here, that our mother was never here, and I’ve been conversing
with shadows. Yesterday, she told me her insurance won’t pay for her medication
and she swears someone is trying to get into the house she doesn’t live in anymore.
She tells me the bastards are going to steal your mounted deer head.
Let them, I tell her, let them fall under the scrutiny of those creepy eyes.
In five days, we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving without you, remember our last one
together, how you shot a buck, followed the blood trail, but never found him,
six points, you told everyone, six points, and that was all, you carved the turkey.

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