I stand watch over the still stream
where a turtle used to amble.
All I see are fish, the size of
bare eyelashes, flickering past
rock and crushed cans.
In summer I called this place dead
even though the turtle lived here
beside rocks green with plush algae.
Fish swam past. Leaves dangled over
In fall, one hour before dusk,
I peer into dull, dark water
for a sign, for a rock to move.
Murky yellow leaves hold their breath
as fish swim past.
I used to call this the dead creek
when the light revealed everything
and the turtle hid from its glare.
Now I see only reflections:
clouds and trees.
Tomorrow a smooth rock becomes
a turtle basking in weak sun.
Stay safe, stay safe, I will whisper
to this creature far smaller than
a young child’s fist.