All Ways

I’m an old turtle, and I know where

the water is.  Wherever I am,

I am always here, and the water

is always with me—a weight,

a fragrance—even when it is over there.

I’m an old turtle, and I know how

to stand with the night swirling

out from under me—black water

around the trunks of trees.

My shell is lined with stars,

And that is how I go.

I am always going that way

even when pond lilies rise

and rose mallow burns along the shore.

When you see me in the summer field

or high on autumn’s hill, you always ask,

“Where are you going, Turtle?”

I cannot tell if you have heard me.

My answer never changes.

Some day, you will know.