She's on her way home, but I
stop her by crossing her path.
I crouch to look closer, discover
her secret--the back end of her shell
covered in mud. She has been
laying eggs. That's all there is
to motherhood in turtles: no
sleepless nights, early mornings;
no doctors, no endless driving.
Incubated by sun, the eggs will develop;
quarter-sized hatchlings will scramble
to the pond--no diaper rash,
no skinned knees. When this female
grows old, she will die alone;
no hospital, no visitors, no I love you's.
Evolution crawls on. My son sent
flowers for my new home, granddaughters
flooded me with hugs after my concert.
My daughter invited me to Thanksgiving
dinner. And I too, can swim in the pond.
Back to the Woods
A crack. A splash. Upstream
a wet squirrel
crawls from the creek; mid-flight, an airliner
hits turbulence, leaves stomachs
on the ceiling; constant buzzing signals
the yellow-jacket nest inside a bedroom wall--
last week, the phone call--
There is a mass in your left kidney . . .
in MRI's date
with surgeon dare with robots sleep
invaded with dreams-- rats
vocal chords can't get them
off a boulder rolls uphill
pins me can't breathe a thousand
my stomach crawl out
Blood pressure soars. Big girl bonnet
knotted under my chin, rod
up my back, I dodge the dagger
at my throat.
A squirrel chatters from the scarlet oak
across the road, loses his grip, belly-flops
to the street, leaps up, scurries unhurt back
to the woods.
A 23rd for the Bees
The bees are my pollinators: I shall not
They maketh me to sit down with abundance:
they leadeth me to threive.
They restoreth my faith in Nature:
they leadeth me to the Southern Magnolia--
scent nearest to paradise.
Yea, though I am threatened with starvation
if they vanish, I fear not: for they are with me;
their strength and tenacity comfort me.
They prepareth a table before me in spite
of their enemies: they annointeth me
with honey; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow them
all the days of their lives: and they will dwell
in the blessings of heaven forever.
Patricia L. Goodman is a widowed mother and grandmother and a graduate of Wells College with a degree in Biology and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She spent her career raising, training and showing horses with her orthodontist husband, on their farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She now lives in northern Delaware, where she enjoys writing, singing, birding, gardening and spending time with her family. Many of her poems have been published in both print and online journals and anthologies and she was the 2013 and 2014 winner of Deleware Press Association's Communications Contest in poetry. Her first full-length book of poetry, Closer to the Ground, was a finalist in the Dogfish Head Poetry Contest, and was published in August 2014 by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. In 2015, she received her first Pushcart nomination. Her second book, Walking with Scissors, is currently being considered for publication. Much of her inspiration comes from the natural world she loves.