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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 2, June 2013


Giselle Maya
St. Martin de Castillon, France

Le Lézard Vert

the gift
of a warm winter day
in dry grass
a shimmer of green
perfectly still

olive leaves
silvered by the wind
wait and see
a wild creature stir
from its winter sleep

on an early February morning i walked the trail
that leads to an apple orchard
veered off the path to a ruined stone cabanon
it was a vivid green in withered grass that made me stop

there a splendid creature lay fast asleep
i took a dry Queen Anne’s lace stalk to tickle it softly on its back
it did not move breathed in and out
sides of body rising and falling
paws the most skilled goldsmith could not fashion
the length of its body encased in green-gold scales
throat shaded turquoise blue

i gazed for a long while
then went down to my garden
to help prune trees

i could not stop thinking of the lizard
and wondered if it was still there
walked back up to find it had moved
onto a piece of clay tile spread in the sun
i was spellbound

but the moment my shadow was seen
it gently animated its limbs and long tail
to glide from the tile rippling into tufts of grass—
an elegant escape

next day was colder i saw it again attached
to the side of the stone cabin near the ground

daily i pass on the way to my garden
and look for the green shimmer
ears open to the sound
of the rustle of fallen leaves

Author’s Note: Latin name of the green lizard (lézard vert) is Lacerta bilineata.



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