Thick reedy grass pokes up
through water and muck
at turtle island.
Our canoe stealths to a log jam.
A seasoned turtle looks at us and blinks
unmoving, while small shelled youth
waddle and plop into weedy wet.
The boat abuts deadfall and floats
until young ones
imagine log and slowly return
to sit in the whispering sun.
Poised nets sweep and capture.
Turning young earth in hands
its patterened underside
The turtle disappears in its dark water weeds
to stand on the back of its mother who stands
on the back of its mother.
to sustain Earth
Turtle supports Earth in many indigenous stories. I wrote this piece to get myself a ticket on the Monday Poetry Train and to honor turtle, of course. Turtle Island exists near my parent's place in the Seeley-Swan Valley of Montana.