By John F. Zurn

Mood Swing

Soaring like a magical bird,
I fly high above the crowd.
Freedom and joy envelop the world
where only I am allowed.
Then crashing down, I crawl like a worm
stuck in this slime covered prison.
Everything reeks of garbage and dirt,
and robins make me nervous.


Life is a playground
with so many swings
and too many slides 
and not enough trees.
The seesaw is rusted
and the rings are too high.
The school yard is fragile
when bullies pass by.
Yet the playground is useful:
a quest for the mind-
a test for the body--
a gift in disguise.


I thought I knew the driver,
as life drove me around.
I knew when I could travel
and trusted local roads.
Now every stop seems doubtful,
and every turn looks wrong.
I thought I knew the signposts,
but now the road is gone.

John F. Zurn earned an M.A. in English from Western Illinois University and spent much of his career as a school teacher. In addition, he has worked at several developmental training centers, where he taught employment readiness skills to mentally challenged teenagers and adults. Now retired, Zurn continues to write and publish poems and stories and has had two Uriel Fox stories published by cc&d magazine and a play published by Off the Wall Plays called The Girl in the Lavender Glasses. As one of seven children, Zurn’s experiences growing up continue to help inspire his art and influence his life.

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