Photo by Spenser Simrill; Cabretta Beach, Sapelo Island GA

The Turtle Died At Home

By Nathan Trivers

She had nothing left, 
just a few breaths…

The turtle sighed at home.

The bigger the dead thing is, 
the more it reminds us of Us.

The turtle was huge, 
larger than I am old.

A sandy depression surrounded it’s body,
deepening with every changing tide.

The turtle’s listless corpse stay put, waiting, 
as the sea slowly covered the turtle in its love.

That which had nourished it, raised it,
now buried it gently, easily.

Swallowed by the same grains of sand
from which it first emerged.

A slow and steady burial
for a likewise creature.

The turtle died at home.

It bled from where its eyes had recently been,
brutally torn out by a bird with no other choice.

Eyes that had seen the ocean, the blue,
the deep, the darkening.

Eyes that saw the sand,
watched over her egg.

Eyes that opened, closed, opened, closed —
thousands of times, but for now.

For the first time, those eyes
soar through the sky,

Borne in the stomach of
Death’s black janitor.

Now blood drips from the 
emptiness, like tears.

Was she sad?

Was she heartbroken 
that she must leave?

I was.

If I could,
I would save her.

But if I could… 
could I?

Would I be allowed?

I left the turtle as it was, 
crying — drip. . .drip.

The turtle cried, 
at home.

Cabretta Beach, Sapelo Island GA