Wendy Schmidt  


We were once children,
sharing wooden blocks and building,
blanket tents beneath the tree,
where we laughed.
Summer long were the days,
lighter when our world knew,
nothing of adult accounts,
each date marked and measured.

With little worry we wandered far,
battled the forces of ant wars,
ferrel mice and hidden nests,
all mysteries solved by bedtime.
Not always carefree but certainly,
better days with bike and basket,
limbs steady and strong so that we,
never lost our balance.

With age we linger less,
where once wild winds blew,
now only pass the place in a hurry.
Yet, simple pleasures remain fixed.
The memories call to us,
slow down our senses,
run through an open field,
and pick a posy of purple clover.


P. Wheatley


And do we understand,
the bound hands,
in such an age as this?
We might wonder,
of her muted tone,
and the subtle colors,
she paints with poetry.
This, the young girl,
left to stand alone,
in a strange land.
The cruel hand of fate,
ripped away family,
and all she loved.
Between the lines of proper form,
we hear her true voice,
one who never forgot,
African roots,
one who must speak,
without offending her keeper,
one of many who's lives,
are forever linked,
through the chains of bondage.
Yet this woman,
found hope in handicap,
found faith within fault,
rose from the ashes,
to tell her story,
during the dark days of slavery.




Red Dress

No one could ignore her in the red dress. She would be seen, dancing between the rain drops. Rolling mists were tempted to take a turn in this Waltz of tempestuous weather. One bright flash and the world is her stage. Rainy day girl raises her arms, then dives down too deep only to drift away on ripples of wandering stream. Rivers flood her every waking dream. Drink in all that is good and given. She reflects in mirrored ponds, a watercolor awash in violet eyes and weeping willows. They meet and mingle as the stark song of a trumpeter swan is heard in a far-off country. One by one all things present are preserved in her unique, universe. Wearing the red dress might invite sudden showers and peculiar puddles. She would be seen, dancing between.



Many Paths

And, for those who say there is only one way,
one path to ascend, one road in the end.
This limits the mystery shared history of us all.
And, for those who pray with such certainty,
who cease to listen and dare to lament,
on the sacred mystery kept safe within a womb.
Who can know the sorrow of a woman,
forced to sacrifice or free to choose?

And, for those who repent without acceptance,
who believe in the narrow views of a precious few,
who create a holy place in an unreachable space,
rather than inside themselves.
Where are the rules written in bondage,
tied to a dogma to silence the authors,
of a promised new city of souls?
Should stone words stagnate,

preserved in a dead language or be reborn,
in the fertile minds willing to unite a world?
These are living text lifted up through,
concepts of change yet honoring the plain,
stories of our ancestor’s wisdom.
We are children of God, part of the divine,
eternal, evolving on an earth altered,
the moment those first few thoughts,

transmuted into light and life.
Inside darkness we formed,
baptized through holy waters,
delivered to our mother's outstretched arms.
We are stars burning bright and when,
the light fades then remember,
distant shores where we swam before,
and our people found us waiting.

We are part of the whole,
embracing beliefs, not enslaved by them.
And, for those who think there is only,
one righteous road, one way to heaven.
To them I say, there is only this truth,
we are all created equal,
no one soul above another,
many paths may unite us, at last, in love.




Wendy Schmidt is a native of Wisconsin. She has been writing short stories and poetry for the last ten years.  The Four C's; cat, chocolate, coffee and computer are her chosen writing tools. Pieces have been published in Verse Wisconsin, Chicago Literati, City Lake Poets, Literary Hatchet, Moon Magazine and a number of other poetry and fiction anthologies.