Ted Kooser

Box Turtle

From At Home Poems. The Comstock Writers Group, 2016.

On a mission this day, she lifts her feet
a little higher than she needs to, as if she is
stepping through somebody’s flower bed
and knows she has to crush a few petunias,
her head far out ahead of the damage
as if to disavow it, a head like the tongue
of a wagon, the future pulling her forward
jerkily over the uneven yard. Following,
under her shell, is her burden of eggs
pearly as tapioca, and all four legs
for digging, lifting their wrinkly knees.

Poem copyright Ted Kooser, used here with permission.