The Pond

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.

Gregory Orr, “The Pond” from The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems (2002: Copper Canyon Press, 2002). www.coppercanyonpress.org
Source: The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)
More Poems by Gregory Orr