I sit by the lake on the brick wall, legs crossed and grown pale and hard with chill, like iron rails.
The turtles don’t appear on the smooth green-black surface, only a sudden ripple or two, far out.
I break and throw a cracker anyway, nibble on the last part myself.
The stunning pink and purple sky of moments before has settled now into subtle hues of blue, white and a faint orange glow above the darkening water
The cold is numbing but I love it out here
A sudden splish and plop and a soggy, ragged square of cracker has disappeared.
A minute’s wait and then another is gone, and then another
I see the small explosion as a spot of water rises up to momentarily become solid and transparent as glass, then settles to liquid ripples
But I never see the fish, a brown glint at the most.
I marvel at their quickness, never seen but expertly nabbing their target, hardly ever missing
I wonder, too, at the split-second from floating cracker to empty water
All is veiled by the water’s darkness.
It is beautiful, but I have things to do, and the evening chill is growing
The bricks feel like rough ice.
I struggle to my feet and step off the wall, with one last glance for the faintly glowing sky and dark lake
The unclaimed bits of cracker will remain, float uselessly, slowly turn grey in the impermeable water.
- Kat Finger