I don't claim to know what a turtle thinks
As she glides like a ghost through the ocean
Whether the currents arcing over her bladed feet
Feel warm, or cool, or delightful
Whether she comprehends the vibrations of teeming life
Scuttling through her tympanic membranes
Or knows only howling blue.
Crossing our world to lay her eggs, her journey a mystery
Do memories guide her to this place of her birth
Or simply a feeling, athrob in her leathery soul?
No man will ever know how flippers ache
Or, as she struggles back into the sea,
If she ponders the fate of her children,
Longs only for the taste of a brittle star,
Or ever thinks at all.
My kind cannot speak in the turtle's voice
Yet for greed would deny her unknowable life
Pray permit her to be in her turtle's way