Poetry Friday: Turtle Movements

You move so slowly,
Until you see me on the path.
Quickly, you scoot away to the edge,
Stopping momentarily to listen to 
More of my approaching footsteps
On the gravel.

Then, you're off again,
Scuttling into the dry forest
Debris where you blend so perfectly.
Still, if I bend down to look
Under your chosen refuge pine, 
I see you. 

Still. Quiet. Waiting.

Later in the day,
You appear again.
On the other side of the cabin,
In the sun.

Seeing me, you quickly move away.
Faster than I'd ever imagine your
Meandering species to travel.
Our truck serves as your refuge now.
Protecting you from me, but more likely
The dog, watching intently.

A few minutes later,
We meet,
There in the sun on the gravel again.
I stay away for I see your mission.
You start to dig with your back feet,
A new hole, just so deep.

Slow, steady digging unlike your  
Quick earlier movements to hide.
Transporting dirt out to the sides,
A spot chosen to lay your eggs.

Three hours later you're on your way.
Back to the lake, from whence you came.
Beautiful painted turtle, I hope to see you again.
Painted Turtle laying eggs. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021
Sunset on small Wisconsin Lake in June. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021.

Today is Poetry Friday. Our host for the round up this week is Carol at Carol’s Corner. Be sure to stop by her page for some great reading and links to other poets. Thanks for hosting.

12 thoughts

  1. What a story you have told in this poem! Such an amazing miracle to witness! I love that it is accompanied by your beautiful nature photographs.

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  2. Thanks for taking us on this lovely trip, Carol, from apostrophe poem to picture & back again, following your visitor. I love that final digging! My family & I saw a sea turtle digging its nest once when we visited a small island in the Gulf. We kept quiet & it didn’t appear to be disturbed, just kept about its goal.

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    1. I love watching turtles and have seen some on vacation as well. My family, also, knew enough to leave them alone. We also learned on visits to Sanibel Island, years ago, to turn off nighttime outside lights as to not interfere their egg laying. I’m glad you have enjoyed this as well.

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  3. What an experience to watch her lay her eggs. Beautiful. I love all the pictures, and the poem as it progresses chronologically through the day with the turtle. I hope you get to see it again too.

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  4. I love how you turned this experience into a poem. I watched a snapping turtle lay eggs in MA last weekend and then this weekend in ME I saw eggshells where turtles had recently hatched. Now I’m wondering–do turtles lay multiple batches of eggs each year? There’s always something to wonder about! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. Tha’t’s a good question! I don’t know how many times turtles lay eggs over the course of one year. I want to say one but do not have any basis for that answer! I”ll have to look into it! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

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