You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard.
Turning back, you cupped two hands around the shell
of the broken turtle, to ease it to a place
where it would be more comfortable in dying
down by the river, the flat slap of dark water dying
beneath a dim streetlight, beside the shells
of broken factories, an empty silent place
you knew alone. You moved gently to a place
of moss and sand, a soft cool place for dying,
to honor to be faithful to the turtle, the shell
pealed from her tender dying places; you broke your shell.
Editor’s Note: The poet introduced me to this form (a tritina—a mini sestina), and as with other forms dependent on repetition, this poem uses the technique to emphasize the underlying emotional narrative with great effect.
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