If you were a turtle lady and you loved a turtle man
It would not be odd in turtle-land
if you had known the waves four hundred
years and he another sixty-one;
or he knew the beach for twenty,
you the sand for forty-six;
you each lost your turtle-hatchlings
in the week you turned and left
for waves and fish in deeper waters
such as it happens every year,
for you the turtle-man and lady
know enough of turtle fears.
I am rather fond of tortoises, terrapins and turtles. We had half a dozen tortoises in our back garden when I was a child, so I spent time watching them and observing their life cycles.
There isn’t much about jazz in the poem, so perhaps the title is mismatched. There’s a jazziness in the loop of the ‘turtle this’ and ‘turtle that’ refrain, but some might say I’m stretching it now. Maybe this will still prove a work in progress. We’ll see.