• A boy had stopped his car
  • To save a turtle in the road;
  • I was not far
  • Behind, and slowed,
  • And stopped to watch as he began
  • To shoo it off into the undergrowth —
  • This wild reminder of an ancient past,
  • Lumbering to some Late Triassic bog,
  • Till it was just a rustle in the grass,
  • Till it was gone.
  • I hope I told him with a look
  • As I passed by,
  • How I was glad he’d stopped me there,
  • And what I felt for both
  • Of them, something I took
  • To be a kind of love,
  • And of a troubled thought
  • I had, for man,
  • Of how we ought
  • To let life go on where
  • And when it can.

Robert S. Foote was born in 1944, grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, did graduate work in France and England, and taught high school English in Ann Arbor before going back to Tennessee to attend Vanderbilt Medical School. He practiced nuclear cardiology there for a number of years after spending nearly 25 years in emergency medicine. He is currently an assistant professor of medicine and radiology at Dartmouth Medical School and has published significant scientific research in the area of diagnostic testing for coronary artery disease. Foote and his wife have lived in Vermont for many years. He is the father of three daughters. His poetry has been published in both literary and medical journals. “An Interruption” is from Foote’s collection The Hidden Light, published by Whitman Communications and available from Amazon Books online. It is reprinted with permission.

“An Interruption” by Robert S. Foote. © Robert S. Foote. Reprinted with permission of the author.

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