Unformatted text preview: THE WORLD OF TURTLES
ON THE GEORGIA COAST Despite the stink I keep on going back
to watch the giant turtle on the beach.
The sun has not been kind to him
and slowly crabs and gulls are pilfering
the softening flesh from his carapace.
As he is emptied out into the world
the shell is stripped to bric-a-brac,
and those who walk the beach collecting junk
and set it on a shelf beside a fern.
But what would I do with a living one
flopping around the house and smearing the mg
with slime that smells of week-old fish or
laying leather eggs beneath the ottoman?
The rubbish the waves deposit on the beach .
is all we know of the world of turtles.
What world do they imagine for us
when a careless sailor falls from a ship at sea?
Offshore, a storm is grinding its black teeth.
Tomorrow when I walk the littered beach
the shell and its last scraps of oily flesh
will be washed back to sea. I’ll miss my friend.
The ocean though is a serious wilderness.
The black waves race farther up the beach
and start to rock, then lift the turtle shell,
made lighter by its time outside its world.
- Andrew Hudgins ...
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- Spring '11
- Poetry, Plastron, carapace, Andrew Hudgins, black waves race