(May 15th is National Armadillo Day, I don’t know anything about armadillos, but May 23 is World Turtle Day and Pentecost, and I am thinking ahead to both. In the cemetery I met this my relation, slowly-enough paced to let me draw her with watercolor pencil. Where will she be in a week? Where will we be?)

At South Cemetery, half in, half out of the pond

God, I thank you for giving me a shell,
not den or burrow, nest or hive,
but a way to travel in the world,
freely sticking my head out into trouble,
but able to protect myself
from so many predators.

I thank you for making me slow
so my pace in a storyteller’s mouth,
makes children laugh,
and my speed on highways
filled with drivers
motivated by destination,
or churches
filled with congregants
also pedal to the metal with rush,
can decelerate them to BPH
(beauty per hour)
life-saving to all of us.

I thank you that I am in a species
that has been around for a long time,
cares for the young,
honors and protects the old,
lives alongside the rest of creation,
when we are doing our best
to voice the Spirit of many tongues.


Maren C. Tirabassi and Maria Mankin have edited the forthcoming  chapbook, “Pitching our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality,” and Maren blogs at gifts in open hands at wordpress dot com. She’s a UCC, US, pastor and a writer and lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


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