“They Told You Abortion Was Ugly,” a Poem by Lynne Schmidt

They did not tell you that in your greatest time of need,
an angel would show up to your place of work,
fold you in their wings while you cried,
and ask if you needed a ride.

They forgot to mention that once you were inside the clinic,
the woman telling you to take a medicinal dose of ibuprofen
would also make eye contact with you
and ask you if you are okay.

They seemed to forget
about the woman in black pants who will sit beside you
and discuss Madonna on the radio.
When they call your name, she will wish you luck.

It’s likely that they’ll never tell you,
because they won’t know,
that day, you’ll laugh.
More than once.

They failed to tell you about the assistant
who would dig into your bag of belongings before the procedure
to find your iPod, so you can listen to music that will make you feel better.

They also don’t tell you,
that while you recover,
more people will tell you that some days they’re afraid to come to work because of the people outside.
But they show up,
because you need them to.

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 Contest, 2020 New Women’s Voices Contest, a 2020 Pushcart nominee, and a ten time Best of the Net nominee. Lynne is the author of the chapbooks, SexyTime (The Poetry Question, 2022) Dead Dog Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2021), Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press, 2019), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West, 2020). 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.

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