“An Unfinished Dream” by Milton P. Ehrlich

I’m reeling in a pickerel on Dyer’s pond
and have trouble unhooking the lure.
A turtle on a lily pad watches me
reach for pliers to free the fish.
In a deep voice, he growls:
“What kind of creature are you?”
I toss the fish back into the water,
and watch him swim away.
A red-tailed hawk swoops down
and decapitates the turtle’s head.
He leaves an epitaph on his shell, which says:
“Creatures great and small, the Lord God made us all.”
I walk into the nearest church doing poetry readings
where I can lie down and practice being dead.
I see the woman I’ve loved all my life, and ask:
“Will you marry me?” “I’d love to, she answers.”
I reply, “if not now, when?”



Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 88-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published poems in The Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times.

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