Kim Malinowski

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Teaching Unborn Babies

It is jarring when your psychiatrist says the world needs you—
and you both know you’re not suicidal.
Impossible to comprehend being role model
to mentally ill who follow.
Showing that fierce will and dreaming can bypass
obstacles that feel insurmountable.
Teaching that you must learn to go around longer paths,
that there is no shame in taking breaks as you climb mountains, swerve—
and that is conquering.
Sprint if you can when you can,
but babies unborn—
power is finding matches
and lighting one in the dark.
It will go out—but you will know there is light.


Kim Malinowski earned her B.A. from West Virginia University and her M.F.A. from American University. Her debut collection is forthcoming from Kelsay Books 2021 and her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. She is a lover of words and writes because the alternative is unthinkable.