On a Hot Bright February Afternoon

On a hot bright February afternoon
A dozen turtles have surfaced
From the lake bottom
And are sunning themselves on a log
Lined up like senior citizens
In lounge chairs beside a Florida pool
You can almost hear their /Aahs!/of relief
As their joints begin to unlock in the heat
You can almost hear the conversation
About tonight’s bingo game
And the boasting about children and grandchildren
But they’ve been around long enough to know,
These oldsters,
That February warm spells
Don’t necessarily last
So don’t get too used to it
They’ve been around long enough to realize
That their once inexhaustible bodies
Are running down and wearing out
So don’t get any ideas
About permanence
And yet doesn’t a day like this one
Lazing about on a log with old friends
Warming a creaky body in the hot sun
Sometimes seem to go on forever?
Maybe it will

By Buff Whitman-Bradley

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poetry has appeared in many print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Front Range Review, Hawai’i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesday, Watershed Review, and others. He has published several collections of poems, most recently, To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World. His interviews with soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan became the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia.

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