a creative encouragement project by Sarah J. Kass

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Turtle.

You are suprisingly small for something that must travel so far.
They tell me that carrying you down the beach
will disrupt the process
where crystals form inside your head
to show you the way back here
in thirty years or so. I do not touch you.
I can only let you crawl over my feet and outstretched hand upon the sand as you race down the powdery dunes. Your touch is featherlight, and ticklish. I feel so inadequate as i watch you; like a mother must feel as she watches her child grow in the world and leave her. And you run so very fast for your age; barely a minute old in the open.
You can't see the dangers surrounding you;
the gulls sitting along the waterline, awaiting your arrival.
They lick their beaks and smirk at the naive little forms blindly running towards them. You and your brothers and sisters; your leathery bodies, blinking eyes, and gasping breaths, crawling over oneanother in the anticipation of freedom. They don't see any beauty in you other than the space you fill in their bellies. They dont see that you are running towards the moon. They don't know how flashlights distract your attention, or how the heat of the sun determines who you are - male or female. They don't understand the labour your mother went through to get you here; the heaving up the beach at midnight, the digging through coral and sand to hide your unformed body in the ground for safekeeping.
They are only hungry.
Even though i'm removed here;
watching a process that has formed a repeating unit of the last 300 million years, even if you never look back or see me, even if some unseen shadow picks you up off the reef and whisks you away into darkness,
I will let you touch water.
I will let you feel the cool of the ocean's tide,
and the washing of the waves,
and the foam of their hands.
And i wont touch you, i wont even be noticed,
but with coral stones in my fingers,
i will stop the gulls from stealing what belongs to you.
Even if only for a minute.