Jay Schroder

Birthday

In his fist,
God held a promise
that bloomed when he shook my hand.

The world tugged.
Stars, space crinkled like paper,
and I splashed in a bath of cold light,
met a grey face, a white coat, hands.

I swam for my mother’s breast,
though never found her.

I climbed out of bed,
made coffee, shaved,
put on pants
and a clean shirt.

Then I opened the door
and strode into November.

Author Portrait

Jay Schroder grew up in a Christian fundamentalist household in Canby, Oregon, where he learned the importance of being good, and how to daydream during long sermons. He has spent the rest of his life unlearning the first lesson and capitalizing on the second. He teaches creative writing and English classes at Eagle Point High School in southern Oregon, where his students help keep him humble. He’s the winner of several Oregon Poetry Association Awards. His work has appeared in Whistling Fire Review, Jefferson Monthly, West Wind Review, Manzanita Quarterly, and online in the Oregon Poetic Voices project.