Sometimes, in spring,
chelonian patience rewards a soft gaze
as when a passing cloud unveils
the hidden carapace of an ancient turtle
that smartly recedes from any hint of a chase.
But then in fall, over twenty yards from the water,
a recently hatched snapper
pauses perilously at noon
underfoot on the lawn
for any to see
before proceeding at dusk, toward the brush and the trees,
and a home in the creek.