Today's poem is by Harry Humes

American Realism

The turtle's beaked head did not move.
Only the slitted eyes moved.
It was watching.
It had something to do with rock,
and something to do with Zero.
It was a chisel.
It was ice.
It was born waiting for gosling or baby muskrat.
Underneath hung its clawed feet.
Its strike, faster than a snake's,
made no distinctions.
It was not meant for sorrow or pity.
It was there to open its jaws,
to open them and clank them shut.
It was one long violent swallow,
something on a cave wall,
a slinking away that left no spoor
down there in the muck,
down there steadily finding its way.

Copyright © 2004 Harry Humes All rights reserved
from One Trick Pony
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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