Family legend says she seduced a guard. Says
she shot him with his own gun. Says
pregnancy, and coat hanger, and blood between
legs. Family legend says there was a choice,
and she chose to live.
Arrest records confirm Ravensbrück. Research
says all female imprisonment camp, says
broken and transplanted bones, & sterilization.
Says homosexuality is outlawed. To help curb
Says your body is not your own, and if you
feel sick there’s a gas chamber for your weary
body. Research says if you were arrested for
performing abortions, you now force them
on prisoners who were offered as reward
for male prisoners who met their quotas.
Life experience tells me regardless of forced or
chosen, I am more like my ciocia than I ever
thought imaginable. Tells me when history
repeats itself, I will be taken, labeled with
whatever triangle they can find.
Life experience tells me my mother was wrong,
my hair would not save me now.
When I walked into that clinic, I
stopped being safe.
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.