'On Camping' & 'It's Only A Small World When You're Sitting Still': Two Poems by Lynne Schmidt


Sometime in the middle of summer

the urge hits.

My bones grow restless at a computer desk.

The sunlight that pours through windows begs me

to come out and play.

I pack my dogs —

Their leashes, their bowls, their blankets just in case.

I pack my bedding —

A sleeping bag, a pillow, maybe another blanket,

and set out.

I am not meant to live in a cage called apartment.

Not meant to thrive in an indoor most of the day,

outdoor only to walk to my car.

So we pack,

we drive for as many hours as our bodies can handle.

And when we open the door,

I breathe for the first time,

wake up with wider eyes because

the entire world waits.



I’ve been told that we live in a small world

by small minds

that live in set houses

on slabs of concrete.

Many of these people

stay at home,

drive to work,

and repeat

until their deaths

where their bodies

will also be housed

in slabs of concrete.

My babcia did not survive the Holocaust

so that her granddaughters would sit still.

Did not travel the Atlantic Ocean,

have sea salt in her mouth

sunburn on her skin

live near the ocean

to believe that the world is so, so small.

She knew better,

and passed her genes to us.

There is salt in my blood.

There are forests in my bones.

And this world

is not so small

when you step back

and devour it inch by inch.


Lynne Schmidt (she/her) is a mental health professional in Maine whose memoir, The Right to Live: A Memoir of Abortion was a Maine Nonfiction Award Winner and a PNWA finalist. Her chapbook, Dead Dog Poems, was a Pub House Books finalist, and the poem, Baxter, won the Editor's Choice Award from Frost Meadow Review. Her work has appeared in Back Patio Press, Soft Cartel, Royal Rose, RESIST/RECLAIM, Pussy Magic, Neon Mariposa, Sixty-Four Best Poets of 2018, 2018 Emerging Poets, and others. Lynne is the founder of AbortionChat, and when given the choice, she prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.

Twitter: @AbortionChat @LynneSchmidt

Facebook: Lynn(e) Schmidt

Photographs by Lynne Schmidt.

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