Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snapping turtles

Imagine you're wearing a discus-shaped hat on your head.

It is heavy, and hard to balance when you walk.

That might be because, attached the discus by various threads

Are a host of small snapping turtles

Not large enough yet to bite through a two-by-four

As snapping turtles have been known to do

But big enough to take a bite out of your pinkie finger

Or your ear

Or your self-esteem.

One of them is a yet-to-be-paid parking ticket

And one is the stranger you're meeting for drinks late on Thursday

One is the packet that's due in about 30 hours

And one is the ice -- you're late and it stops you from running

One turtle asks, is it winter that makes all the children you know want to hit other children?

Several turtles sound like characters in the novel you're revising

Chattering, chattering

Gnashing their teeth

That's why I'm not posting more.

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