Sea Turtles

The New Republic

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POETRY JULY 3, 2013

Sea Turtles

And there they were, sandy, armored,
clawing their way from beach potholes,
 
one with a fragment of egg stuck to his head.
The ocean lay exhausted,
 
a blue sheet feathered with froth,
working its businesslike way toward the dunes,
 
as if it had an appointment never to be met. 
Baby waves fanned across the sand,
 
touched in by a painter in eyelash-dashes—
frayed and silvery. How damp and glittery
 
they looked, the sea turtles! They tumbled forth,
jerky as Keaton or Harold Lloyd—
 
and stumped from step to step,
like rusty trucks bumping over a corduroy road. 
 
On the horizon, the blot of a container ship 
muscled along, running hours late,
 
or years, if it were owned by Zeno.
The sea lay always before them.

 

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