I didn't expect to see her as soon as I slid into the water.
in fact, I didn't expect to see her at all -
But there she was.
her ancient form floated through the coral metropolis, her mammoth shell speckled with barnacles and patterns which seemed to dance in the watery sun beams.
a fractalline kaleidoscope.
a steady stream of bubbles burst
from my mouth as I squealed in excitement
upon beholding this
a sense of calm quickly enveloped me in composure,
as it dawned on me that this moment
was a gift.
I centered myself
and tuned in
the gentle sea turtle and I
glided gracefully alongside one another
she, absorbed in
plucking food from the coral with her beak-like jaw
absorbed in her.
I dove down and swam with this timeless being
she accepted my presence
and the dry world I generally inhabit faded from my
consciousness as ten, twenty or thirty minutes passed
when she went up for air,
I went up for air.
our wet heads bobbing momentarily above our
secret underwater world
and back down we would glide
into the loud silence that is home for
as many fish as there are stars in the sky,
sea snakes and jellyfish and manta rays
octopus and prawn and
a sea turtle
my imagination revelled in fantasies of
the Places she has surely been,
the Wonders she has surely seen
that no human ever could.
beneath the watery cloak of blue I marvelled
at her shell,
within my reach -
a mobile home for this ancient aquatic astronaut
as she traversed the endless labyrinthian ocean
for twenty-something years,
if not longer.
I looked into her eyes and