Prayer of the Turtle

by Hope Slaughter Bryant

Oh, Lord, Most High,
You surely must have thought
I needed permanent protection, and
I do thank you for the intricate
design I am told I wear on my back.
I only wish this house I carry
did not weigh quite so much.

And, I would also request
slightly longer legs, that I might
lift my house a bit higher,
for when I am tired it scrapes the earth.

I thank you for the strength
in my slightly longer neck, and
dread thinking what life would be
if I could not at least see the so-green
grass and bright colored flowers.

Oh, God, I know I shall never win a race
but, perhaps you could, just once,
pump my heart a bit faster
with the excitement of one.


—from Gatherings (used by permission of Hope Slaughter Bryant)

Poem of the Month: March 2015


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