Florida Time Forgot, Mark Renz 1-239-368-3252

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Slow Thoughts

Mark Renz photo and words

From a distance at 60 mph

I could tell the object in the road

was motionless

Still, I slowed to 40

glanced over in the oncoming traffic lane

for a quick gawk

Dead yellow-bellied slider, I mumbled

A shame

They don't stand a chance on our busy back roads

Before speeding up again

a thought spread through my brain

What if it isn't dead

Quick u-turn --

after checking traffic

Pull over

Hop out of my truck

Bend way down and take a slow look

Blood on the pavement

Yellow skin still looks fresh

animal just hit

I gently scoop it up

A leg twitches

Still alive!

A closer look behind the head

shell crushed

White bones protruding through carapace

Organs exposed behind one of the legs

Now what?

Rescue it?

I'm on my way to work

running late already

Where could I take it on short notice?

And isn't it so close to death

that recovery is impossible?

Should I try saving it anyway

or leave it in the grass

for the buzzards and ants

that will do their duties swiftly

but without mercy

I take a last look

a slight wiggle again in one of the legs

Turn away, I tell myself

I do...several times

then quickly climb back into my truck

and spin my tires

Merging with other uprighters

onto Hwy. 31 North

We're all late for work

or speeding for no other reason

than to get there quickly

Did I desert the turtle

Or do the right thing

leaving it to the natural world

where it will be quickly consumed

Such thoughts make the veins in my head

feel as if they're going to burst

so I turn up the radio

and listen to something more pleasant

like politicians bashing one another

over which of them is best fit

to bash the other party's leader

It's good to be back in my world

where I don't have to think so much