by Zane Johnson

Tortoise shell cracked;
What primal turf did you know
Before I saw you nestled
in pet shop glass, enclosed?

Whom did you love,
and did you love her
with that ancient heart
that I'm so certain you own?

You, Buddha, so pleased
to munch leaves, green
that once were scarce
in that plain

But so certain am I that it,
untouched was placid
Certain in unrivaled equanimity
(How to rectify plucking you from that place?)

Walking in and out of doors,
Your head perks up to greet
Not your master, but I who
am so pleased to feed your little belly

Swollen, green, serene
and enjoy with you this
primal void in which you
and I temper the vastness.

It's about a tortoise I got as a kid that I still enjoy the company of today. I've had trouble with the fact that I indirectly "plucked" him from his natural habit that he would be much happier in, yet I've developed a profound relationship with him.

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