When turtles rise from the muck of Riley Creek,
laughter bubbles through promises
the child can’t wait to keep.
Promises to listen to, and learn from,
to taste, touch, and feel,
to see with inner and outer eyes,
and to willfully embrace
whatever she encounters.
So that years later, wrapped in hard
shell of her gathered wisdom,
she will be enabled to first cleanse,
then move her world slowly forward
with joy, with love, and with grace.
Elizabeth Crawford 4/10/2017
Notes: Italicized words are two separate lines taken from Brenda Warren’s poem Fortune. Brenda’s Poetry blog, undercaws, may be found here:
Native American legend tells of the Sky Woman, who was either pushed, or fell, from the Sky World and landed on the back of a turtle. She spread mud on the turtle’s back to make room for herself and her children. She created the North American continent, called Turtle Island. Because it lives in two distinct worlds (both water and earth), the turtle symbolizes the need to cleanse, both inner and outer self(fasting and ritual), before proceeding with action.