Freeing the Turtle


A diver is trying to free

a turtle from the tangled ropes.

It is slow-going. The turtle


is patient. She has nowhere else

to be. She is in the moment:

it is this, or death. Untangled,


the turtle swims away. Pauses.

Turns. Swims back to the man who

freed her, as if to share her breath.


Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. Recent poetry will be found in Hummingbird, Hamilton Stone Review, Stoneboatand several other literary magazines. He blogs as The Middlewesterner, where he has posted at least five small poems a week since mid-2008. Her serves as the Managing Editor of the Lorine Niedecker Monograph Series, What Region?