What I See Today

by Jennifer L. Freed


Circle and Sharpness 15 by Kate Dean
Circle and Sharpness 15 by Kate Dean

The strange, slow beauty

of a giant snapping turtle,

her alien silhouette

crossing the wooded road, caught

in the corner of my eye

as I drive past the pond.


I stop, step closer, near enough to hear

the clicking of her claws,

to see

her amber eye seeing



We stand, each frozen

in the other’s gaze.

Then she is abruptly

on her way,

dragon legs hinging

quickly now,

on into the underbrush, then



I know

I cannot save such wonders

but in memory

and words I give my daughters

with their dinner,

which maybe they’ll still hold

within the structure of their bones

when what is left

of me

is memory and words.


(This poem appears in the chapbook, These Hands Still Holding.)




Jennifer L. Freed envies her two children, who find time to finish reading several books each week. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Poetry East, The Atlanta Review, The Common Ground Review, Literary Mama, and other publications. She was awarded honorable mention for the 2013 Frank O’Hara Prize, judged by Alice Fogel, and her chapbook, These Hands Still Holding (Finishing Line Press, 2014) was a finalist in the 2013 New Women’s Voices Chapbook competition. Please visit her website at jfreed.weebly.com.

Kate Dean is an artist, poet, gardener, holistic health coach and musician, and lives in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. She is completing an MFA in Studio Art with a focus on textiles, and makes installations, artist’s books, and sculptures.