Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Day 23: Animal

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Today's prompt is to write about an animal. Since hearing of the death of this critically endangered Yangtze turtle, I just had to write about her. 

Yangtze Turtle Speaks

I do not bother anyone.
Succumbed in thick skin, 
I move along 
in slow surrender,
a surge of stalled strength.
Encumbered by myself
like an insular nation.

Some may render me glum.
Secretive, they say, rare. But what
do I want to know of their ways?
Deep underwater
is a better place to be.
Safe in my home,
no harry or hurry to disturb me.

Time, is my terrain.
Longevity my legend.
I am old in years and ways -
ninety years I have lived
but that is barely the circumference
of a life is it? Patience, perseverance,
virtues hard won.

I am like an animate rock.
A slab of shell, a dark shadow
of what the earth doesn't see.
Making my way through this earth
peaceably, keeping myself hidden, 
below the radar of reality.
I do not bother anyone. 

Now, captivity a knife in my soul.
Days long and the same.
Reduced to a boat that won't float,
an experiment that won't work, 
every millisecond a moment 
of mammoth shame.
My species, lost.  

Will I rise again like Kim Qui,
golden turtle god 
with Heaven's Will sword?
But is it a sword you see
when you look into my eyes?
I only aim to live solitary, unbothered

My elegy will say:
she was one of only four. And maybe -
one of those turtles that carry 
the universe on their backs.
Now that I am gone,
will you even miss me?
Will I bother anyone? 

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