rounding the human corners turtle watchers

Old mother at water’s edge

used to bow down to them,

the turtles coming in from the sea,

their many eggs,

their eyes streaming water like tears,

and I’d see it it all,

old mother as if in prayer,

the turtles called back to where they were born,

the hungry watchers standing at the edge of trees

hoping for food when darkness gathers.

Years later, swimming in murky waters

a sea turtle swam beside me

both of us watching as if clasped together

in the lineage of the same world

the sweep of the same current,

even rising for a breath of air at the same time

still watching.

My ancestors call them

the keepers of doors

and the shore a realm to other worlds,

both ways and

water moves the deep shift of life

back to birth and before

as if there is a path where beings truly meet,

as if I am rounding the human corners.

-Linda Hogan

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