Somehow, spotting turtles
basking on fallen logs
justifies a lazy sun-burnt afternoon
kayaking the Kalamazoo.
At home, a little plastic turtle lazes
on my clock radio, memento once
possessed by the now departed
church matriarch admired for both
kindness and brutal honesty.
A turtle pin purchased a decade ago
at the local art fair, one leg gone missing,
adorns a medicine bag of sorts,
small cloth sack holding spiritual tidbits.
Another, largest, carved from rock,
whispered to me until rescued from
a New Orleans sidewalk vendor,
much like the stone wolf totem
picked up in Old Town Albuquerque
and the pipestone bear from Minnesota
which serve as its bodyguards
on my bedroom dresser.
My turtles only swim in the intimate
eddies of my home. Perhaps they would
explain too much, otherwise,
about envy of the river turtle
and its ability to slip away
into the current, quiet and full of grace,
should anyone paddle too close.
©2019 Kenneth W. Arthur