The Turtle Pond Before The Subdivision Came

As a teenager, I relished my hours in the woods near my home in New Jersey.  I followed the meandering paths on my 10-speed.  One day I happened upon a little pond.  Painted turtles sunned themselves contentedly on a floating log.  At my approach they slipped into the murky water and disappeared from view.  I waited long minutes.  But, losing patience, I left before they resurfaced.  New subdivisions came, and the paths and ponds disappeared.  Looking back 40 years has transformed this happy memory into a new poem.

The Turtle Pond Before the Subdivision Came

When you pedal
on a wooded path, all brown
and green shadow, framed houses
out of view, you might discover
a little pond, water brown
as forest earth and gray
as autumn sky, fallen log
stuck at half past two,
a perch for turtles, carapaces
painted red and yellow, for what purpose
I am sure I do not know, but
perhaps from the sheer joy of their aliveness,
sunning unconcerned, but slipping
quickly, when I arrive,
into opaque shallows, hiding,
holding longer than my patience,
safely unseen.

(Image by Scottslm from Pixabay)

Roger Baker is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road.  The book tells the true life story of an obscure farm road and its power to transform the human heart.  The book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon.  See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.

9 thoughts on “The Turtle Pond Before The Subdivision Came

  1. Dawn Renee

    It seems there are plenty of vacant homes for people, I’m thinking we don’t need more. : ) Ponds and their life are far prettier & better than more subdivisions. I suppose builders have to make a living.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting! Through my work I have learned that there are almost 2 million fewer houses/apartments than there are families wanting them. Our nation is in a housing crisis. And our world is in an environmentally vulnerable place. I hope people smarter than me can find the right balance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dawn Renee

        I enjoyed the read. I felt compelled to comment due to there are places I enjoyed in bygone years that are no longer accessible or existent. I had no idea the afore stated housing condition may very well be the case. Yeah, I don’t know what the solution is.

        Liked by 1 person

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