The Green Sea Turtle.
Is she gliding or soaring?
Each beat of her wing-like flippers
propels her massive weight
with its gleaming black carapace
through the trackless ocean
with movement as graceful as flight.
Something beyond reason
guides her a thousand kilometres
to the sandy island of her birth,
to waiting males, mating,
labouring up the beach,
laying her clutch of eggs,
then dragging her great weight back
into the buoyancy of the sea.
Will she one year make her journey in vain?
Will male green turtles no longer
glide through the water near her island?
Is the incubating sand growing too warm?
Will then only females hatch
to run the gauntlet of crab, bird or dog
before they reach the swell
and the empty refuge of the sea?
First published at Poets Reading the News.