Mark Vogel

dry/wet magic as turtles move as one

Silent sliders together
xxxxxx shoot from the log—

these three hard-shelled brothers drop
quiet through invisible watery openings,

leaving tiny ripples that dissolve and seal,

xxxxxx as if turtles don’t need
to be taught how to move between worlds,
and know ahead semi-permanent

xxxxxx paths going down,
the homes waiting deep in the mud.

An ancient script says in minutes,
xxxxxx without a sound,

one head will appear comically with
water-cress coated eyes in lime-green,

then, as if choreographed, another,
xxxxxx until all three brothers

have slid back in correct order,
xxxxxx back into the tableau,

perfectly arranged like they never left,
xxxxxx the reasons for flight erased.

Then in the heated July meditation,
xxxxxx all is forgotten,

and again, a magnet holds the scene
xxxxxx intact—turtles glued

to the log like dry/wet art, absorbing
xxxxxx the steady beating sun.

***

Mark Vogel lives at the back of a Blue Ridge holler with his wife, Susan Weinberg, an accomplished fiction and creative non-fiction writer, and two foster sons.  He currently serves as Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where he co-directs the English Education Program.  Poems and short stories have appeared in several dozen literary journals.

A Literary Magazine

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