through moss dollop pools,
heeding the push from
undercurrents and trapped air,
my father dips at the waist.
Sun rays, how they pass through water,
how they drag a brush over
a turtle’s shell and paint algae in ribbons
on the scutes of a stranger
my father lifts to show me.
Every turtle a snapping turtle –
carnivores, “spiked sons-a-bitches”
edged mob bosses of Shutes Branch,
pierced skin and porous sag –
my father cradles pliers.
As humidity threatens to collapse
over the bridge,
inching towards ragged carapaces
and wordless carp,
my father allows his wrist to twitch.