Friday, April 22, 2016

Long Live the Queen

In honor of Earth Day, I forced myself to sit down and write a poem that's been bouncing around in my head for years. It's written with a specific precious turtle in mind that I cared for after a serious boat strike injury. She has since recovered and been released, and I think of her often.

This poem is written as though I'm speaking to her after she first arrived to the hospital. I  am dedicating this poem to all the sea turtle biologists, conservationists and environmental activists out there taking steps to make this world a better place, thank you and Happy Earth Day.

Hello, Your Majesty,
I regret to inform you, you’ve suffered some injury,
As a result of a run in with a boat,
Luckily, my colleague found you afloat.
I must apologize for my species,
I assure you that we’re trying to change things.
It’s amazing that in all the challenges you face,
That you’ve been able to continue the race.
Predators, weather, humans and pollution,
Yet you’re unchanged after 120 million years of evolution.

No matter the challenge, the threat, you’ve thrived!
You carried on and continue to survive.
As a result of all the backbone you’ve shown,
You’ve finally risen to claim your throne.

It’s so wrong to see you in this tank,
A sea turtle out of water?
My heart sank.
Your wounds are deep,
Your pain, too great,
I am not worthy to influence your fate.

But duty calls, and I must respond.
Your caretaker, of whom, you’re not so fond.
I promise to soothe your pain and heal what ails,
Before I’m ready, you will set sail

Back to your kingdom
Where you reign
You’ll leave this hospital
And forget the pain
Freedom never tastes so sweet
As when you’ve lost it, temporarily.

Your brothers and sisters fill the halls
They were hit by boats or nearly drowned in trawls,
With hooks embedded or trash ingested,
Your forgiveness is not deserved, but requested.

For all the humans doing wrong,
Taking all they want for far too long,
There are humans fighting to resurrect,
Our future, and trying to prevent shipwreck.

These things I would tell you if I spoke your tongue,
I would tell you of all our heroes unsung.
And all that activists before me have done.
The battles we lost and the ones we won.

For now I will show you through what I do,
How deeply I desire to help you,
I will focus my actions, both large and small
To advancing your cause and helping you all.
My actions will show you, I say what I mean,
I'm your voice, your soldier, and everything in between.
I will fight for you until the day I die
And on my deathbed you’ll hear me sigh,

“Long live the queen.”

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