I walk on turtles through the night,
Through pea-green waters, faded light.
They raise their weary heads and glint
Or chuckle, rumbling turtle thinks
And gingerly I balance on
My barefoot feet
Grown tough through ages long,
And twisty turtle routes and roads
And flying fish and croaking toads.
Til salty, I begin to pickle,
The turtle tongues are slick and tickle
Leather feet and gnarly toes
And ballet-balance aching bones.
“You’ve been this way before”
“Here she is, the same old nutter,”
Then shouty-crazed like aged drunks
They argue long about my feet
And whether really we did meet
Debate my now diminished bulk,
With some victorious, others sulk
And swear that someone other trudged
Their road of
Flying fish and croaking toads.
I pause one turtle to each foot,
Look back along the route I took,
The moment’s indecision dies
I carry on against the tides.
Behind me turtles croon and sing
some David Bowie, then some Sting.