Ode to a Leatherback

With a gust we are blown from Chart House,

over yonder to the gathering at camp.

Bug bites from last, with spray we must douse,

by the faint red light of a headlamp.

A rickety drive we take to the beach –

all concern, it’s grassy side to start.

Not so bad, the waves can’t reach,

although the kelp still smells like a fart.

We talk, and we laugh, and we gaze,

at the clouds as they part for the stars.

Yet the path still feels like a maze,

each twig leaving prickly scars.

Down and back – it’s time to move on,

to the sandy midpoint, here we go!

The team patrols from dusk to dawn.

Will there be a turtle? No one can know.

But alas, we wimps must jump ship,

just past midnight our goodbyes are exchanged.

So we take that bumpy, windy trip,

to the cottages, wholly unchanged.

And of course, later that night,

a leatherback broaches the shore.

I’m sure, just out of spite,

that we couldn’t wait a bit more.

I curl into bed – what’s that?

something else is here with me too.

A beautiful, brown and gray cat,

the newest member of our turtle team crew.

Morning comes, sleep in Kelly says!

for that we all smile and cheer.

So when asked, could we help the refuge pls?

We respond; have no fear, DUML is here!

We split up – 4 to paint, 4 to clean,

grueling tasks, rest assured.

But soon we must head back – there’s a green,

just a juvenile, who must be secured!

Hurry! We speed through the streets,

a school bus blocking our way.

We hear the endless thrum of our heartbeats,

and in silence, we hope and we pray.

Jer does his best – suited up in record time,

swimming out to the flailing creature.

A fishing line has committed the crime,

death is life’s hardest teacher.

We hold, we examine, we stroke,

but there’s no bringing it back to life.

So sad, what a poor little bloke,

we’ll determine sex under the knife.

“Necropsy,” Matthew suggests with a grin,

and a noticeable glint in his eye.

Thousands of times, he’s dug under that skin,

Oh my oh my, what a guy.

Lunch break! Grilled cheese for me.

Aurora offers to cook – no trust.

This time nothing melts! Don’t you see,

my kitchen abilities aren’t a total bust.

To the pavilion we take a brisk walk,

for a discussion ‘round the table.

What’s on tap? Pike, who we mock,

for proving his point, he’s unable.

And not long after we found ourselves back,

at the refuge for the turtle dissect.

Oh the smell, that it did not lack,

and a belly of seagrass (we checked).

Once we stripped him of his parts,

that beautiful carapace and all,

we returned with heavy hearts,

and awaited nightfall.

It’s been but a day,

no more and no less.

Again tonight we will survey,

perhaps a leatherback? I think yes!