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          The Turtles
          By Isabelle Ghaneh

          The little turtles I love them
          they are just so fine
          they come from Woolworth's
          twenty five cents for one
          they sit in a little plastic jar outside the house
          I wish they were mine, but they really belong to my brother
          just like everything else
          I hear Mama say to the little king
          we keep buying more, they keep running away
          don't they, my angel boy
          don't worry, Mama has more quarters
          hidden in the back of her pocket
          I know Mama remembers them like she can never remember
          that you, her sweet vanilla pudding
          can't stop wondering beyond the yard
          I see Mama laugh
          as she tells our blank faced Papa that the neighbors keep calling her
          is that the little king on the road, on the street on the highway?
          Mama giggles
          how can they both remember that the little dumpling
          isn't supposed to wander beyond his garden walls
          he's supposed to be watched by
          the little witch
          the bad seed
          the mean older sister
          the mistake that shouldn't have been born
          but the little witch goes to school, doesn't she?
          where is Mama then?
          Mama changes
          when I appear
          she scowls, she hisses, she stares
          blank faced Papa never sees
          he never says
          but the turtles
          keep hurriedly slipping over each others backs
          their little stubby legs
          clinging to the sides
          of the plastic jar
          they keep escaping from

          © Copyright 2004, Isabelle Ghaneh, All Rights Reserved.

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Document last modified on: 09/28/2004

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