- A Turtle’s Affirmation
Life is beyond the murk of cloudy water, the burn of piss in nostrils and the pellets of food that poop from the sky, these plastic trees these plastic leaves these plastic castles and colored stones. One day, two days, one year, two limbs motionless and floating in death. If I press my webbed hand hard against the glass, stretch my neck high against the light, clumsy the pebbles into a loud heap with the stomp of my will, then perhaps, maybe, surely even I can crash this cage off its plastic table land on my back spin like a top— one hand, two hands, one foot, two pointing toward the heavens— A real turtle’s death. [End Page 197]
Michelle J. Pinkard is a poet, writer, and educator living in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an assistant professor of African American literature at Tennessee State University, and her scholarly interests explore the intersections of race, gender, and literature. Pinkard is the author of The Eye of the Tornado: Fifty Poems for Rhyme and Reason (La Caille Nous, 2004), and a forthcoming study on women poets of the Harlem Renaissance.