Turtles

Whether snapping, painted, softshell, turtles grace the soggy scene;

Lugging shells around the water like some upside-down tureen.

Basking on a sunken log, they’re decals of the summer;

They look at us with wise old eyes that brand us a newcomer.

And in return we capture them to make distinctive soup;

At prices that would make most diners’ appetite sure droop.
Or else we set them side by side to scramble willy-nilly
in a race that robs them of esteem and is quite silly.

Those who trap the creatures and the ones sworn to protect

Squabble over quotas like some sanguinary sect.

But if you asked the turtle, then I think that you would find

That thinking of such folderol, it’s really disinclined.

Finding worms and minnows, or a patch of ripe duckweed

Is all a turtle comprehends or thinks that it will need.  

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