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Song-Riddle: Asian Box Turtle

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Questions for a zoologist
starting with anatomy
        concluding with love:

Is a turtle’s skin loaned?
True or false: weight of his shell
        is lighter
        than the light of drums.

What is the under-shell
and is it tough as a mangrove?

Can he see through his shell-box?
Can he see out the rear
                        to this sea of ours?

Does he exist in the order of things?
How does life begin, when does it end
            and is that good or evil?

Yellow margin over a cuttlebone,
domed carapace
        is it a lonely world

of sow bugs, cutworms, and God?

Source: Poetry (April 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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Song-Riddle: Asian Box Turtle

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