lynne schmidt

three poems

New And Old Wounds

She peels the tissue away from my skull,
separates the lobes until she finds the memories
and then my therapist asks me to put them on display 
as though I’m taking jewelry out of the box.

When she finds I’ve been picking at scabs
that should have scarred years ago
and tracing razors over old scars
to make deeper ones wounds
she suggests, maybe it’s time for hospitalization.

The laugh bubbles like acid in my throat
eating away my esophagus.
I remind her that unless they do a lobotomy
this is my life,
these are the pieces of jewelry that adorn my hands, wrists, neck. 

I tell her, there are some wounds, that never heal.

Baptism of Sidewalks

While he’s gone,
my sisters and I take a can of beer from the fridge
and smash it against the snow and ice of the walkway
like a Christening,
like an exorcism
like garlic hanging outside a window to ward off bad spirits.

It takes three throws before the can
breaks open like wounds from childhood,
and we pray in alcoholic baptism.

We laugh because he’ll be pissed,
we laugh because he’ll likely be too drunk
to notice it’s missing.

We laugh because if we don’t laugh,
we’ll cry.

When my sisters lose interest and go back inside,
I come back out with another offering
and paint the sidewalk
with liquid
like maybe if we pour enough
God will finally listen.

New Old Friends

I am in Michigan for the holidays for the first time in years. It’s been nearly
ten since graduating high school,    and  Pat    picks    me  up  to go out for 
drinks to rehash how  fucked  up and  similar  our  high school experiences 
were.    I     confide   how   much  I   wanted   to   be   one   of   the     girls 
who wore the football jerseys on  game  day,  cuffed  sleeves,  tied   around   
the    waist    so    it     fit.       Pat, the former  defensive  end, chuckles and 
says he used to give his to the hot physics teacher. Says, if he could go back 
in time, I could have worn his. After a few drinks, we get into his car to go 
home. I  flinch  away  when   he        puts     his    hand     on       my   knee. 
he laughs when he asks, “Who hurt you?”

27 January, 2021

Lynne Schmidt is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. She is the winner of the 2020 New Women's Voices Contest and author of the chapbooks, Dead Dog Poems (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press) which was listed as one of the 17 Best Breakup Books to Read in 2020, and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West), which was featured on The Wardrobe's Best Dressed for PTSD Awareness Week. Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor's Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne was a five time 2019 and 2020 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski and Doug Draime Poetry Awards. In 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.