What ancient source surges
your body to surface for the sake
of your children? Caretta caretta,
teach me to write in the sand
a map erasable by wind.
Your dome of scutes suits you:
a home that hovers with every paddle,
every devoured Aurelia,
every open-eyed rest with forelimbs
spread, in the season you surface to nest.
When wind erases your body’s traces,
what ancient trust assures
your hatchlings will scoot
to sea under night-cover, led by light
into unknowable futures?
Curled like a child, I am a hatchling,
I am a mother, Caretta caretta, sturdy
and soft, a daughter to and with
a daughter, nervous but surfaced,
knees splayed, big toes touching.