The Necessary Paternal Directions

necessary paternal large

School let out, and we headed down for swimming at the spring. But my friends got held up dreading turtles. They come so close. I hear they break skin.

We arrived, and I tore yellowed leaves from a fallen limb. I stood with it raised above the waters and the swimmers.

I’d only hit the surface once, when a loud voice called from rocks across the pond – “Don’t you hurt those turtles!” – a dad voice, unyielding, but we couldn’t see the person who was calling.

O creatures, who is your protector? O stick, you think we can take him too?


Geoff Bouvier has published two books of prose poetry (including the 2005 APR/Honickman Prize winning Living Room), and is a PhD candidate in poetry at Florida State University.

Photo credit: Michael Sobota


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