Erin O'Neill


I could go mad
Wondering what to do about you,
Stupid turtle,
As naÔve as on the seventh day
You venture to conquer
The wrong terrain. 

Away from bog and damp,
You freeze, head up
On the God-hot road,
Your black shape a spot
On this landscape
I have to reconcile:
What to do
About you
And me
Driving alone
Through these cool
Arkansas pines, tall grass
And swamp on either side. 

To stop is to re-set
The universe to another
Pattern, should compassion
Be enough to tempt
Your self-determined fate. 

All of evolution
Stands with you,
Watches you come and go
Like a Rorschach flash
From my driverís seat. 

I could move you,
But halfway across
You might just make it. 

To set you on your way again
Might actually undo you,
For the truck, the tractor
Come from exactly how far off
At exactly what speed
I do not know. 

Either way,
To move you
Across or back
Is taking a chance,
Which is why I let
The laws of nature
Make their own history
Here and carry the weight
Of you, turtle,
To make whatever
Happens next

On I drive;
The radio distracts me.
Iím going somewhere,
Iím going somewhere,
Iíve counted the hours
To my arrival
Like another preposterous vector
Launched and on my way.