Toby Speed


Disk Management

To the tune of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

I heard the bells on Christmas day
as eighty emails came my way
and mild and sweet
the words repeat,
delete, delete, delete, delete.

Those quips and quotes and anecdotes
as endless as recounting votes,
the memos brief, and memos long—
a million bytes and going strong.

This daily freight to sort and stash
is making my computer crash.
I close my browser, and I see
that still I have no memory.

The archive function has its place.
It’s using up my hard disk space.
For overflow, they say the cloud
is exponentially endowed.

I’ve filled the bytes I got for free
unless I pay a storage fee.
So, mild and sweet
these words repeat,
delete, delete, delete, delete.

Toby Speed lives and writes in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire. She is the author of seven books for children, including Two Cool Cows, an American Bookseller Pick of the List, and Brave Potatoes, which was on both The New York Times’ and Publishers Weekly’s children’s best seller lists. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Lighten Up Online, The Rotary Dial, Boulevard, and Highlights for Children. Visit to learn more.