Poem by Lynne Schmidt

The Reoccurring Nightmare Where You Won’t Be Able To Save Them

I want to tell you
that when the flood waters
sweep the car away,
my surgically repaired shoulder
will become bionic
smash through the window
and pull her to safety.

I have had the nightmare,
water in my mouth as I scream her name,
and I don’t get to her in time.

I have had the nightmare
where I save one
and not the other.

And I have had the nightmare,
the one
I imagine is closer to reality,
where we all submerge.


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.

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