Deborah Ager

(1971)

The Tortoise In Keystone Heights


When I knew, it was raining.
Winter in decline. I was tired.
You in your soaked shirt diffused
into the western sky bulging with clouds,
speeding cars a few feet away—
why would they not slow down?

Though afternoon, a slip of moon
busied itself with rising,
and it had to mean something.
If only the moon were not out.
You shoveled the crushed tortoise
and her eggs off the highway into the dirt.

Those soft, white eggs.
This is how I love you:
drenched with Florida rain
and looking like hell,
Florida itself a hell,
the moonlit rain a rain of fire.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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