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Lynne Schmidt


A husband hears of his family’s death 
when their bodies make the front page
of American newspapers.

He recognizes their clothes,
their luggage, 
before the jagged knife of realization sets in.

And then he recognizes his wife,
his daughter, his son,
his dogs. He cries, “They took everything.”

I think of the mother's last moments,
telling her children to outrun bullets
and shrapnel.

Offering the one last gift she can, 
to lay her body in the street,
and die beside them. 


Lynne Schmidt is the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, and a mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. They are the winner of the 2021 The Poetry Question Chapbook Award for their chapbook, Sexytime, and the 2020 New Women’s Voices Contest for their chapbook, Dead Dog Poems. Other chapbooks include Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West), which was featured on The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed for PTSD Awareness Week. In 2012 they started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her pack of dogs and one cat to humans.