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In Utero
by Mary Schmidt

Sharp red splatter
paints my ivory thighs                              
retching empties the pit of my stomach.
Like a relentless needle
pain stabs my abdomen
pierces my hope
shallow breaths argue why.
I double over
stillness pervades inside my frame
flat belly lifeless again.

My want, to soak in a tub of scalding water
seeking refuge from constant hemorrhage
to wash away the cold reality
rid this flood of reminder.

Hands tremble like shutters
before the eye of the storm.
A deluge rages down my face
as water from the spout fills the tub.
An attempt to drown an identity.
I drop to my knees
before stepping into the water
drenched with blood that drips from my hands and legs
I let go of the child that is not mine to hold.
Questioning why, I question why
no one hears the barren agony
now alone-
only the floor comforts another month. 

Mary Schmidt has found that poetry has communicated with her the beauty of mystical nature, the search for meaning of life and death, the ecstasy of talking to the moon, the discovery of love that has no beginning or end, the feel of the wind on her skin, and the gift of touching the rain. In an attempt to break out of her inner cell of terrified privacy, she was encouraged to enter this arena of written and spoken word, giving her poems permission to immigrate into this larger world where they may live or not in relative peace.