I want to sit on a log in a small pond
and warm in the sun like an old turtle,
mind empty except for clouds overhead,
sun-dappled trees shaking in the wind,
the stillness of the pond disturbed
only by darting dragonflies.

But I can’t let go—
My mind spins like a top ‘til I’m dizzy,
careening across space to wobble and fall.

My mind frets about the future,
regrets the past,
chokes on commitments.
People starve in Darfur.
People die in Iraq.
My daughter is depressed.
My dog wants out.

Outside, the bird calls, the wind calls,
the earth spins around and circles the sun.
My body takes in oxygen from air and
turns food into flesh.

My mind returns to the turtle.

The sun is too hot.
The pond is too small.
The log grows uncomfortable.
The dragonflies would make a nice dinner.

Joy Schwab has loved poetry since childhood, writes when inspired, and has had poems published in Ohio Poetry, Dayton Daily News, and elsewhere. She works as a librarian for the Dayton Metro Library Main library, downtown, where she conducts monthly poetry events at which local poets can read their poems in a supportive group and hone their skills. She can be contacted at