Illustration: rainbow-patterned turtle shell beneath lake ice

A Turtle, Dreaming

We are in the shadow of yesterday’s trees:
wreathed, ice-sheathed, bewildered
in a frigid home, all but abandoned.
Remaining birds dart through scorched
branches, into the brooding
eye of another storm.

I peer through stripes of lingering
smoke and ash. The pond is all broken
windows, drift ice barely
contains the clear brittle panes, shellacked
with fine crazing. Look
down through the spider cracks.

The Blanding’s turtle dreams in repose,
her embossed shell vibrating
with memories of long ribbon
stems rooted in loam, the silken
white lilies that floated like swans.

She’s hearing echoes of the sweetness
once poured from tiny feathered throats
as they wheeled through the green,
green leaves, threading them
with sapphires and rubies and gold.

Virginia Boudreau is a retired teacher living on the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada where she can often be found at the beach. Her poetry and prose have appeared in a wide variety of international literary journals and anthologies. Most recent work has been published in Revolute, Little Something’s, UnderStorey, Grain, TNQ, and Palette Poetry. She is currently trying to find a home for her first poetry manuscript, twenty years later than planned.

Turtle illustration by C.B. Auder.

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