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After 15 Years, My Wife Said Thank You and I’m Sorry

July 22, 2010 by · No comments

Charlotte Pence

Photo: Clearly Ambiguous

Nothing lasts, we know, so why do I lift
The box turtle from the middle of the road
To the side where crab grass pocks asphalt crumbs?
Picking it up, I feel the tight-fisted weight
Of some creature shrunken inside, desperate
To be set down. I hold it away from my chest
As if I don’t want to touch it, trace
Its nail-smooth underside halved by a seam
As rough as a re-scabbed wound. The longer I stand,
Unsure of what to do, the longer I give the turtle
that dizzying sense of no control. I know that feeling
As sure as I know the sound of hard-soled shoes
Grinding roadside gravel. Set it down. Set
It down. Here—or there—almost doesn’t matter.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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