End of Days on Turtle Island

Half keeled over in the fall drought
an abandoned rowboat hangs by mooring ropes
from an abandoned dock. The dock is gray
from use and weather. The water is gray.

A great gray snapping turtle burrows
at the mud below inches of chilling water
between the boat’s naked hull
and the moribund weeds on the lake bottom.

The ice that will tear the fabric of the boat
will chill the turtle far beyond its cold blood.
The ice surge will drag the wooden dock posts
in twisted splinters back and forth and out.

The rowboat will wait until spring
before it finishes drowning.
The silent Earth of turtle will be freed
to slide out, then down into the house of teeth.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.