The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
—from “The Song of Solomon”
When I was a child, I yearned to hear the voice of the turtle. Would it warble like a miniature French horn? Would it growl like a tiny tuba?
My mother, who knew something of the Bible, told me the turtle of the poem is actually a turtledove, yet still I wondered whether turtles — always silent (in my presence, at least) — ever make a sound.
daybreak by the pond . . .