An hour after it’s been shot between the eyes-
Beheaded, hung to drain and gutted-
The snapping turtle’s heart will still beat.
Cut from its carcass and left on the cutting board,
It will beat, regular and strong-
Until finally, frustrated with nothing to do, it stops.
Old timers-Turtle Hunters- reach into holes along the mud banks of rivers,
Happy that snappers crawl up into their lairs
But all could tell the tale of the contrary turtle that backed in-
Catching the contrary bastard that made a habit of reaching into
Holes in mud banks.
Turtles don’t let go.
They can be caught on a hunk of rope if they’re pissed off enough to bite on it
And be hauled into the boat.
Splayed in their mud cave, they can’t be pulled out.
Shovels are brought and mud banks are torn down to rescue the hand;
Sometimes minus the thumb or finger. But rescued.
And the turtle is still soup.
The brain that makes men reach into turtle holes
Is the same that makes them go into the mines.
Because their daddy did.
Because someone has to.
Because everyone else is afraid to.
Because we’re convinced that peace must be bought