On Becoming a Role Model
There was a day in the history of the world
when my niece stole my glasses,
stole my winter hat,
and put them on.
With a smile that could swallow oceans
“Look Auntie, I’m you!”
And I remembered my mother’s words when I told her I wanted to grow up
“Don’t ever turn out like me,” she’d hissed,
a slap in the face to a small child.
I didn’t understand then.
I understand now.
I am not my mother,
and my niece is not me.
Instead, I pulled her into my arms.
I cannot point to that day on the calendar,
because at the time I didn’t realize it was important.
Scholars will not write about the great battle that took place within her words
because they won’t care about it.
But on that day
in the history of the world
that I would become someone
that my niece could look up to
In honor of PTSD Awareness day of June 27, this selection comes from the book, On Becoming a Role Model, available from Thirty West Publishing. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.
Lynne Schmidt is a mental health professional and an award winning poet and memoir author. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West). 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 Best of the Net Nominee, and has received honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Award, the Doug Draime Prize for Poetry, and Joy of the Pen. 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.
Nilsa Ada Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her multi-species family.