Honu

Mates
upon the briny face of Neptune’s profusion
shell on shell, a scutes maze coiling instinctively.
Crawls
onto a barren shoreline, laden inside with
a hundred progeny in hardened white shells.
Buries
this silent rookery of ping-pong sized eggs
to cook obscurely in the white sands, until each
Hatches
unseen, life that begins in the night in the sand
with fervid digging, struggles to surface, then
Scrambles
back to the Neptunian depths alone where
reptiles are now few and increasingly rare.
Matures
during these lost years from hatchling to adult
adrift on beds of Sargassum weed, sea grasses.
Feeds
on eel grass and algae, crustaceans and fish;
hidden in coral: a pacifist’s diet.
Submerges
to the bottomless depths, where myths still take form
then surfaces and breathes, then quickly returns.
Migrates
warm global waters along trafficked routes
where the colossal whales and whalers collided.
Survives
ceaseless environmental degradation; lives
a fifty-year life span, then beyond extinction.

******
*Honu is the Hawaiian word for the green sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

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