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TWO TURTLES
by April Halprin Wayland

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Two new turtles.
One old pond.

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One girl, one guy.
One bold, one shy.
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One stretches, yawns.
One stays withdrawn.

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One slips in,
swims.

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One stays on rock.
(Has swimmer’s block.)

(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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I decided to get two new red-eared sliders for our pond. ¬†Our old guy recently died. ¬†I miss his turtle-ness. ¬†Back home, Eli and I watched the two turtles adjust. One immediately dove into the water. ¬†”Oh joy!” she seemed to say, swimming off. The other tucked his head into his shell and sat on a rock.
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When Eli and I walked away–for just a few seconds!–the turtle slipped into the water. ¬†And I began writing this poem. ¬†I’ve rewritten this on and off all day. ¬†In one version, the shy turtle has writer’s block and dives in to find a fountain pen (ha ha). What was a simple poem became too complicated, too¬†ungapatchka -ed.
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What about your poem?  Try this: go outside.  Sit still. Observe one thing in nature.  Begin a poem. Keep it simple.
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P.S: Do you have any suggestions regarding turtle names?  All I can come up with right now is Click and Clack.

Eli checks out one of the new turtles


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