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.
IT'S ONLY A SMALL WORLD WHEN YOU'RE SITTING STILL
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,
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.