The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Requiem: A Patrimony of Fugues

Ocean Fugue
The memory is beginning to fade.
The repetitive replaying has lessened, psychic fracture
nearly healed. For many years if someone said fear
that California coastline would appear.
My father’s wet chest, his arms clamped tight around my six-year-old body.
His final fed-up insistence that I stop fearing water.
I clung to his neck, screaming out in breathless bursts
as he walked us deliberately into the ocean. His forward gaze did not falter.
He did not whisper soothing words of reassurance, or try to make me laugh.
His clinched jaw, his silent exasperation
at my senseless dread ricocheted off the crescendo of white caps
rolling their way toward us.

This selection comes from the collection Requiem: A Patrimony of Fugues, available from Diode Editions. Order your copy here. Our curator for December is Krista Cox.

Tina Schumann is the author of two poetry collections, Praising the Paradox (Red Hen Press,2019) and As If (Parlor City Press, 2010), which was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize. Her work was a finalist in the National Poetry Series, Four Way Books Intro Prize and the New Issues Prize. She is the recipient of the 2009 American Poet Prize from The American Poetry Journal and a Pushcart nominee. She is the curator and editor of the anthology Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents (Red Hen Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in various publications and anthologies, including The American Journal of Poetry, Ascent, Cimarron Review, Crab Creek Review, Midwest Quarterly, Nimrod, and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. Read more about Tina at

Krista Cox is a paralegal and poet living in northern Indiana. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Indianola Review, Whale Road Review, and Pirene’s Fountain, among other places in print and online. She twice received the Lester M. Wolfson Student Award in Poetry, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. In her abundant spare time, Krista parents, paints, and plans community events as the Program Director of Lit Literary Collective. Learn more than you ever wanted to know about her at


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