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Turtle Crossing, by Jeanne Obbard (Delaware County/Main Line Workshop)

Over years you have built the armor
which arcs over your innards.
From chitinous to shell
you have grown the dome
kaleidoscopically glyphed,
a message without translation.

This is the kind of ruse you need
when you move over eons.
All the while they try to read your back,
you are shifting tree-trunks limbs
in solemn sequence unseen
over a sea of asphalt.

There are those who despite
your pointed lip
and biting conversation
will raise your flag,
knowing this is the risk
those who think long thoughts take,
also to be caught one day
in the middle of the road,
intent on some point trackless and obscure.

Let us, the evolutionarily fearful,
say a prayer of brotherhood
to the affectless tortoise,
to his stubborn extrusion of fragility,
to the weight and lumbering his protection

© Jeanne Obbard