by Tina Schumann
Today I sat at my desk. Moved
a few books around. Thought of my demise.
Wrote a letter to a friend’s mother
thanking her for the Longfellow;
she’d heard I was a poet and naturally assumed.
I ate when my body said eat.
I drank water – cold and slick
it slipped down my throat.
I waited for the mailman
to walk up the steps. I heard his start
and stop, the lift and lowering
of the lid, the sharp turn of his boots
on dry leaves. I waited and he came.
I listened and he left. He and I
and the crows and the UPS man
and the kid down the street with the basketball
are all figures moved by instinct and need,
obligation, desire, and boredom. But I digress.
I picked the glass up, set the glass down,
stood up, walked the floor, looked out the window,
cursed the grass, and thought, thought, thought.
– never fully dormant, never fully engaged.
And all the while this is what the sign around my neck said:
If it rattles like a person than it is a person.
Tina Schumann’s work was a finalist in the National Poetry Series and Tupelo Press listed her full manuscript as a “remarkable work,” in their 2012 open submission period. Her chapbook “As If” (Split Oak Press) was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize for 2010 and in 2011 her work received a Pushcart nomination. She holds an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University and her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies including The American Poetry Journal, Ascent, Cimarron Review, Crab Creek Review, Harpur Palate, PALABRA, PARABOLA, Poemeleon, Raven Chronicles, San Pedro River Review, The Midwest Quarterly, and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine.