Thursday, June 01, 2006

Poetry Thursday

This is the time of year the turtles from the river come up on shore to lay their eggs. This gal arrived this morning and I found her in my driveway headed for an adjacent field. She is a Cooter and about 12" from stem to stern. I snapped her photo, got out of the way and wished her well. The odds of the eggs hatching are pretty slim. In the next few weeks we will find nests throughout the meadow that have been excavated; the eggs eaten by raccoons and skunks. Pieces of the leathery shell will be the only thing remaining.

I wrote this poem several years ago at this time of year.

for Barbara Kelly

In driving rain a spotted turtle climbs the hill
bony armor scraping a path
through thickets of sedges
meadows of weeds

She digs a nest
one scoop of earth at a time
deep dark warm enough
to hold opalescent eggs
that spill from her body

Work finished she refills the hollow
slowly shuffles back to the river
slipping through mud
to her watery world
forgetting her labor

You and I spend our days
watching and waiting
first words first steps
long nights tortuous hours
the comforting sound of a car coming home
long letters from distant lands
through peace and war we push
the threat away as it steals through our dreams

The turtle basks in the sun on a fallen log


jim said...

That final image really does it for me--thanks!

Cam said...

Thank you for posting this poem. I love the contrast between pushing the threat away in one's dreams juxtaposed the turtle sleeping dreamily on the log in the sun. Wonderful!

Visual-Voice said...

i absolutely LOVE This one!

deirdre said...

This is a beautiful poem. Anne LaMott wrote something a while back about children and turtles, but I don't remember which book it's in. Maybe "Operating Instructions"? Great pictures too.

abhay k said...

For the first time a turtle is on poetry thursday...poem and pic both are lovely..

Cynthia said...

Glad to see you at my place. I will definitely be coming back for the poetry, the photos and your words.

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