Richard G. Connors

(Wenonah, New Jersey)

Trial On The Beach

Poem by Richard G. Connors

A man walked the beach and noticed a turtle coming in from the sea. He stopped and observed as it struggled ashore.
It seemed to be injured or sick, but he wasn't sure.
Suddenly turning to face him, and to his surprise, it spoke to him with a question which he could not ignore,
"How do you plead, creature, innocent or guilty?"
"Guilty of what," he responded, "I must know the charge?"
The turtle replies, "My cousins the fish and all things of the sea, are dying much faster than ever before. What could it be?
Something is killing the tiniest of things, thus starving the larger, this cannot be,
Without the smallest of life in the sea, the waters will soon be empty of life, whose fault shall it be?
I ask you again, creature of the land, how do you plead,
Guilty or innocent of this crime that I have told?
You must answer with much haste, for I too have been poisoned and will not grow old!"
With bowed head the man finally answers, "I must be guilty of all you have said
I know of no other that could have caused such dread.
Knowing no way to reverse the trend, Can you forgive me, I'll do what I can, or is it too late?"
The turtle replies, "How should I know, I am just a turtle, but it is strange that you should ask my opinion at this late date.
There was a time when I could have helped, but would have meant,
offering to you my life unspent.
Instead I decided to keep on living, which I now repent.
It's true, you are the destroyer of all that lives.
Turning my world into one of your sewers.
Your only hope is to change to one who cares and gives,
because my end is the beginning of yours!"

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Read poems about / on: beach, sea, fish, sick, change, hope, life, world, fishing, water

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 2, 2003