Today's poem is by Eric Trethewey

The Crossing

Driving to work through the dwindling
green of drought's advance, I see a small turtle
in the middle of the mountain road.

He has made it almost to the yellow
line, where, alerted to sounds
that may signal mayhem, he has stopped

to reconnoiter—neck extended
from its house of bone, horny-beaked head
erect in air—as cars and pick-ups

grind past, behind him and before.
It is well that he can't know
that all his gifts, his armored plates,

his lungs fit for Tartarean depths,
his squat power, are next to useless
here. Even his built-in compass,

no matter its accuracy, was designed
for a different world and so
has brought him to where he doesn't

belong, to where nothing but luck
and the scattered good will
of inconstant creatures can preserve him.

Copyright © 2004 Eric Trethewey All rights reserved
from Songs & Lamentations
Word Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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