The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Monday and Great Falls


Turtle
By Mary Oliver

Now I see it--
it nudges with its bulldog head
the slippery stems of the lilies, making them tremble;
and now it noses along in the wake of the little brown teal

who is leading her soft children
from one side of the pond to the other; she keeps
close to the edge
and they follow closely, the good children--

the tender children,
the sweet children, dangling their pretty feet
into the darkness.
And now will come--I can count on it--the murky splash,

the certain victory
of that pink and gassy mouth, and the frantic
circling of the hen while the rest of the chicks
flare away over the water and into the reeds, and my heart

will be most mournful
on their account. But, listen,
what's important?
Nothing's important

except that the great and cruel mystery of the world,
of which this is a part,
not to be denied. Once,
I happened to see, on a city street, in summer,

a dusty, fouled turtle plodded along--
a snapper--
broken out I suppose from some backyard cage--
and I knew what I had to do--

I looked it right in the eyes, and I caught it--
I put it, like a small mountain range,
into a knapsack, and I took it out
of the city, and I let it

down into the dark pond, into
the cool water,
and the light of the lilies,
to live.

--------

Sunday was not outrageously hot, but it was very humid and sticky, so I was actually warmer standing still thank walking. We took a bunch of books to the donation center for the Montgomery County library system, then we went to Great Falls, where there was a nice breeze coming off the river and not too many people. The Charles F. Mercer was floating in the canal, there were a few turtles and several frogs (we could hear more than we saw), and lots of butterflies flitted in the flowers.

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We stopped at Giant on the way home for provisions (human and feline) for the week, plus Roger's produce truck, then had a small dinner because we ate so much crap at the fair Saturday, and watched this week's Legends of Tomorrow (this season isn't my favorite but it was a pretty good episode), Wellington Paranormal (always hilarious), and Dead Pixels (an enjoyable study in dysfunction). Plus I got an invitation to a Voyager Discord server, so I got to have some nostalgic fun there.
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