by: Gregory Orr
Snapping turtles in the pond eat bass, sunfish,
and frogs. They do us no harm when we swim.
But early this spring two Canada geese
lingered, then built a nest. What I’d
heard of, our neighbor feared: goslings,
as they paddle about, grabbed from below
by a snapper, pulled down to drown.
So he stuck
hunks of fat on huge, wire-leadered hooks
attached to plastic milk-bottle buoys.
The first week he caught three turtles
and still there are more: sometimes he finds
the bottles dragged ashore, the wire
wrapped several times around a pine trunk
and the steel hook wrenched straight as a pin.
This week, in honor of Earth Day, I've decided to feature some of my favorite poems about nature.
I've been sitting in my living room this evening, helping my son with his homework. It was all about ecosystems and taproots and fibrous roots. My son is actually a lot more environmentally conscious than when I was nine years old. Of course, I was born three years before the first Earth Day.
My son gets upset when he sees a homeless person begging on the street. He once yelled at a kid on the playground for dropping a candy wrapper on the ground. He lectured the boy on how birds and animals would die because of the candy wrapper. My son harangued the kid until he picked up the garbage, walked over to the trash can, and threw it away.
Saint Marty's son is a John Muir in the making.