Turtle

by allisonkujiraoka

When so much depends

on this pair of hands

to bring us into bloom,

depends on this mind–

a crowded, airless room–

the day is a game of pick up sticks:

one false move of the limbs or the wits

disturbs the peace; there is no fix.

I wasn’t meant to be a turtle,

carrying my house on my back.

Instead I’ll be the twine, binding and hemming

the adhesive, puzzle-piecing

the comic relief, side-stitching.

I’ll be the sustenance,

a magnetic substance.

Not all at once,

but each in its turn.

Wear the hat the moment asks for and

hide the others, live and learn.

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