One Thousand Miles

AP Photo -
AP Photo -

THE EDITOR: The following was written in observance of World Turtle Day on May 23, and remains relevant throughout the nesting season – a time when these majestic creatures are subjected to indiscriminate poaching and face major challenges, on land and sea

I have travelled one thousand miles in search of a place that's warm.

Through oceans deep and sky-high waves, I have weathered many a storm.

I have freed myself from tangled nets, dodged nasty blobs of plastic.

Swam alongside floating debris and swallowed objects that were toxic.

Chemical dumps and oil spills are destroying my natural habitat.

The mighty polluters and money-makers refuse to fix problems like that.

Our seabeds are landmines, booby-trapped with lines, gillnets and trawls.

Environmental head honchos issue warnings but nobody heeds their calls.

I have travelled one thousand miles across many a dangerous path.

Fought predators along the way, survived Mother Nature’s wrath.

Up ahead a sandy shore beckons – a safe place where I can nest;

My weary flippers will drag me there; my instinct will do the rest.

I have laid one hundred eggs under one thousand grains of sand.

At the crack of dawn, I'll be ocean-bound on an adventure, new and grand.

I have travelled one thousand miles but this is out of whack!

I cannot breathe. I am not a horse. How will I stop this attack?

I'm on my back and flailing wildly, my flippers have been hacked.

Blinded by flashing lights, my babies crushed and cracked.

I have travelled one thousand miles to become a poacher’s prize.

I may fetch top dollar on the black market, depending on my size.

And as my journey of one thousand miles ends, I cannot help but think –

That if our nesting grounds turn into graveyards, pretty soon we will be extinct!




"One Thousand Miles"

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