The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and The Hare


When the bell rang to end recess, we

Climbed the winding road

From the playground to the

Red brick school building.

When we saw the turtle

Plastered to the black asphalt.

We covered our mouths in horror.

Some careless car drove too fast

On the curve and the turtle was

Dead, even his shell, that thick

Home he carried on his back

Fragmented and crushed.

I saw him as he must have looked

In his final moments, serious and slow, placing

One tiny mottled green foot before the other,

The sun hot on his little neck,

Before the sudden squeal of tires,

The desperate struggle to move

And the gruesome death,

The crush and bloody drag through the street.

I expected the fat white hare, smug

And gloating up ahead

Or perhaps still dozing under the sun

On a bleached rock in his dusty white fur.

When he’d wake, he’d hop blissfully

Down the road without a care.

If a car appeared, he’d sprint

And dart laughingly away. Slow and steady

Didn’t make you win, I thought.

It got you killed. All at once we startled

And windmilling our arms and legs

Ran panting to our classroom praying


What are you looking for?