Christian Umbach

Christian Umbach currently lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, where he works as a city planner, specializing in neighborhood engagement. Christian has always enjoyed writing both personally and professionally. His passion culminated in completing a Creative Writing Minor at Allegheny College, in Meadville, PA. Christian’s poems are highly influenced by sense of place. As a diligent observer of all things both remarkable and mundane, Christian enjoys discovering the poetic images hidden within historic city maps, building facades, and astronomy textbooks.

Dumpster Balloons

As I opened the dumpster
to empty the week’s trash, birthday balloons rose
to greet me, as if bonded to the lid,
charged with anticipation.
I scrambled to shut them down
yet they kept rising, obedient to unseen forces
brazen they squirmed toward
the black open air.
How vast the continuum of emotions
permissible each moment on earth.
A Ukrainian couple proclaims their vowels
while dressed in army fatigues,
flower petals decend upon the same ground
pierced each night with metal-cased shells.
Shirtless boys giggle while dribbling a ball
across the dusty floor of refugee camps.
A celebration for being alive,
a witness to one more orbit,
even with the hurt, the bitterness,
the weight we carry.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN