I can tell you about how many times I’ve died
and the handful of people at the funeral
who were only there
out of obligation.
I can tell you about the flowers,
the lack of casket,
the avoidance of eye contact as people pleaded under their breath
to revive a dead girl.
The obituary was lovely,
because no matter what’s been done,
no one speaks ill of the dead.
I can tell you how many times
people tried a resurrection
refusing to let demons stay dead.
They wanted my corpse to keep dancing with them,
necromancing what’s better buried,
asking this body
to stay with the milky eyes,
the sunken cheeks
because when you know what to expect
by boxing an animal in,
growth can’t come
and what you already know
you can’t be afraid of.
I can tell you
I am alive right now,
and I stand on the bodies
of all the people I’ve been before.
Lynne Schmidt is a mental health professional and an award winning poet and memoir author who also writes young adult fiction. An avid snowboarder following her abortion experience, she is also an Ambassador for Coalition Snow. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press 2019), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West 2020). 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 is a five time 2019 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Award. 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.