Turtle mamas don’t do nurture.
One’ll scoop a hole and perch her
Bottom on the edge and squirt
Her babies in. They don’t get hurt
Because their eggs are squishy and
They’re falling into softish sand,
But Mama wouldn’t know because
She up and splits, is what she does.
She’ll plop a hundred eggs or so
And then, with no goodbye, she’ll go.
The babies lie there in a pit
With just some sand thrown over it
While Mama hauls her lazy carcass
Back to sea, so we, we park us
In a seat beside the pit
And chaperone all over it:
You gulls and varmints, move along!
Think supper’s under here? You’re wrong!

For days and days we’ll bravely toil
In our beach chairs till the “boil,”
Which is when the turtlets hatch
And up from underground they scratch
And claw their teeny, greeny way
Into our hungry world. Yay!
That ain’t just chaperones you’re hearing:
Gulls and varmints, too, are cheering.
Turtle pups is easy pickin’s!
(Tasty, too, like tiny chickens.)
That’s how come you’ll hear us cry,
Chaperones, assemble! Why,
Without our help, those loggerheads
Might perish inches from their beds
And never know the salty joys
Of also ditching girls and boys
Someday upon that very beach!
(That’s something mama turtles teach
Their babies by example: When
They’re not there, they’re still there. How Zen.)
They’ll live to leave their kids alone
Because we’re here to chaperone.


One thought on “Chaperone

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