by Martin Elster

The huge sea turtle merges with the shore,
Motionless, with bipeds all around
Gaping in wonder, while the breakers roar
Beside this turtle merging with the shore.
Composed of sand and seashell to the core,
This reptile is forever ocean-bound,
A great sea turtle merging with the shore,
Ocean-less, with bipeds all around.

Nobody knows who built it grain by grain
Or just how long it’s stood there on the brink.
The breathing ones have gone. We pray the rain
Will not unbuild this reptile grain by grain
Before the tide’s in. One link in the chain
Of life has snapped. The world’s gone out of sync.
Nobody knows who built it. Grain by grain,
Dissolving — still, it stands there on the brink.



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