The grapefruit sized eastern box-turtles
blend into the fall leaves—burnt
yellow of a maple the same as the lines
patterning squares. A herd
of dogs rushes the woods—
bounding toward the river—
great anticipation of a drink,
sticks thrown. You—knowing the woods
tread quickly toward the destination—and I
willfully lag behind, enticed by the huge
American dogwood. Through my hands
the soil and rich ground litter
dotted with the tiny red seeds, drops.
You descend over the hill,
the last yellow tips of hair disappear.
You with goal in mind—
and me, enraptured in the journey.
The leaves and the box turtle.
How one works to protect the other by being.
I imagine the turtle in admiration of the leaves.