Tortuga

Because the matted hay
blocked his wrinkled gaze,
and because I am who I am,
I felt the call to move him
to a higher place. And thus,

soft as a mother’s hum,
I wrapped my fingers
around the mottled shell,
grazing the creases of his thick neck,
raised him just a few inches,
resting him on a nearby rock,
watched him close his eyes,
stretching his head to the sun.

How noble it felt to help him,
that turtle that fit
between both my palms,
he who could have snapped
at any moment,
yet didn’t.

But people aren’t turtles,
are they? And I have only
two hands. And those I love
need more than I own.
Better to leave them
in the arms of the universe.
Look. The turtle is sleeping.

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