We sit by the roar of the falls after the hurricane,
          the rush of the brook crashing beside the pump house,
spray flecking the bridge traversing the current,
          streaming brown with the topsoil it has carried away.
A hawk ferries through the air downstream towards us
          above the brook, followed by a thrasher, whose nest
it has most likely robbed, in pursuit, continuing on,
          being thrown off by the red-tail latching onto a branch
in a birch on the bank. What mesmerizes us is that
          whatever it is lifting its brown face, which also appears
green, breaking the surface, in the rush of the water,
          disappears for minutes at a time, reappearing, when
it surfaces long enough for us to discern that it is a snapping
          turtle who has fashioned a submerged lily pad as
camouflage, a watery decoy, that allows it to bob up and down,
          probably perched on swamped deadfall along
the brook’s bottom. We arrive back home from our morning
          walk, the stones of memory still warm with
the images of both the harrier’s flight and the terrapin’s swim,
          still hearing the brook’s sound rushing in our ears.


Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), winner of the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition and A Bird Who Seems to Know Me, winner of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Poetry Prize. Recent poems appear in Comstock Review and Pensive: Global Spirituality.