Out the back window I see, resting there
next to the mulch bin, topped
with light green watermelon rinds
and pale yellow corn husks
and shrunken orange pumpkins, a giant
Galapagos Tortoise, not moving or eating,
but simply resting, steady and sure
as the harvest moon, its two front legs
stretching out straight before it,
wizened, hoary head peeking at up me
from beneath its dark carapace.
But I know it cannot be a Galapagos Tortoise
because this is winter in New England,
a light layer of snow beginning to cover
everything, the yard and trees
and the mulch bin, too.
I rub my eyes, look out again see it’s only
the large rock at the end of the path
resting there sure and steady as Mars
shining fiery red in the winter sky,
and not a Galapagos Tortoise after all, watching
me steadily as a Roman centurion from there
alongside the mulch bin in the snow.