The loyal tortoise ambles
Through a forest full of brambles
Where once a meadow full of flowers flourished,
Where once the stamens danced
And petals bright entranced
Now a harsher foliage is nourished.
The tortoise tries a bite
Of whatever plant’s in sight
Its mouth enduring savagery and pain
For the aged tortoise knows
That they who seek a rose
Will, in the process, find that thorns they gain.
The tortoise eats its pick
Though much may make it sick
In hopes of finding what it thinks is lost.
The tortoise chews and bleeds
Just to satisfy its needs,
To find its rose regardless of the cost.
Somewhere amid the brush,
In a pocket, dark and hushed,
A seed emerges from the salty soil.
Its leaves taste stale air,
But the seed does not despair
For beauty never grows bereft of toil.
Someday the rose will bloom
And emerge amidst the gloom.
Perhaps the tortoise finds it after all.
Fearless are the plants of old,
Or so another tortoise told
In tales to seeds and to the ones who crawl.