Thursday, September 27, 2018

DMC: "Standing on a Dock in the Lake" by Juanita Havill

Standing on a Dock in the Lake

If I can’t see the bottom of the lake,
should I jump in?

If once a moss-slick snag poked my leg when I plunged
deep below the surface . . .

If a long, thin murky creature slips into the water
(Is that a snake?) . . .

If a hungry pike big enough to eat a child is cruising
the depths . . .

If that log floating near shore is a ravenous snapping turtle
ready to snap . . .

If the lake right here off the end of the dock is deeper
than the deep  I think I know . . .

If the water is so cold that it cramps my stomach . . .

If powerful hidden currents twirl and swirl
me far out to the middle of the lake . . .

If I am all alone with no one to hear me scream,
“HELP!” . . .

Should I jump in the lake?

Do I have to answer these questions?

Or do I close my eyes and jump?

© 2018 Juanita Havill. All rights reserved.

Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation tomorrow, Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:


  1. As a stalwart overthinker, "close my eyes and jump" is not a skill comes naturally, but sometimes it's the only way. Thanks for the just-in-time reminder, Juanita!

  2. A question for life, showing how our imaginations do run wild. I love the details you included, and the way you made the path to that question. Answers will vary, won't they?

  3. What a fun poem. Those leaps of faith are so tough, especially when one's brain is in overdrive. I love the your details and the sensations they create.