The Bones Beneath Us

Lynne Schmidt

As they dig into the earth
to create the bed
for a luxury condo,
the workers’ shovels collide
with bone.

They pause,
excavating the torture –
skulls shattered by bullets,
body upon body upon body.

Over a thousand corpses lifted,
unnamed, unidentified,

The work stops
just long enough
to declare
a mass grave.

The town officiant will say
We are all guilty; we all walk on bodies.
Then continue construction.

Lynne Schmidt is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and a mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. She is the winner of the 2020 New Women’s Voices Contest with her manuscript, Dead Dog Poems, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Other titles include 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. 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.