FIRST PLACE, ADULT GENERAL:

TURTLE SHELLS

My therapist asks what else is on my mind.

A pithy incident, too long ago to recount
without exposing more than I wish today.

Instead, I tell her it's turtles.
Turtle shells, actually.
And how a wildlife refuge
put out a call to women
asking for the hook and loop pieces
from discarded bras. How these

garbage items are being attached
to broken turtle shells. The victims
of menacing cars barreling down the road,
but saved by the strength of their shells

and a kindly person to take them to shelter,
where wire and patience guide
the broken shell back together,

until it fuses shut again on its own.

Heather Ann Clark
Winterset

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