By Lynn Gilbert

The last two days I’ve witnessed 
a mother turtle trundling down the hill
into the creek.  Laying her eggs
must have been her task up here.

This is the third year there’ve been
twelve or fifteen round white eggs,
soft and leathery, broken and scattered 
on the warm grass—
not broken out of, at one end, as in 
an escape; but in half, as for eating.

Prior years, I’ve seen a turtle
crouch over a hole in the yard, 
then use front flippers to brush dirt
over where she’d been hunkered.
And a few days after that
the empty shells. One year, 
roused in the night I looked out and
saw a skunk make off into the woods 
away from the ravaged eggs.

I’m puzzled why the loss and waste
have hit me harder this year
than the two previous, and then 
I remember: 
                     my daughter
will move out of state this month
in this year of plague
when I can’t even embrace her
to say goodbye.

About the author:

Lynn Gilbert has had poems in Blue Unicorn, Concho River Review, Exquisite Corpse, Gnu, The Huron River Review, Kansas Quarterly, Light, Mezzo Cammin, Mortar, Peninsula Poets, and elsewhere. An associate editor at Third Wednesday journal, she has been a finalist in the Gerald Cable Book Award (2021) and Off the Grid Press book contests.

%d bloggers like this: