Bestiary for the End Times

In the Olden Days
(Bog Turtle, Northeastern US)
I was a turtle
hurtling down
warm rivers beneath
the spectral ferns
their ribs
bearing up
the amber sky.
I circled away
from the hot stones
waited in cool eddies
and pools.
For what did I wait?
The muddy rushes
were peopled by
an eye-feast of birds.
I hid from them
but secretly we both knew.
For what do I wait now?
The rivers cold and sharp
against my bones
the noise awkward
the sky turned to clay.
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