Poetry Friday: A Visit to the Sea Turtle Hospital
Happy Poetry Friday, readers! It’s good to be back after a long hiatus.
In September, I visited the Florida Keys on a book research trip with writing friends. One of them, author and science educator Timanda Wertz, suggested that we visit the Sea Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida.
I learned so much about sea turtles. Funniest (and saddest) is that when sea turtles’ shells are damaged by a boat strike, air can become trapped in the healing carapace. That makes it difficult for the turtles to dive for food — a syndrome called Bubble Butt.
Yeah, I laughed too. The syndrome takes its name from a permanent resident of the hospital. (You can see photos of the original Bubble Butt here.) Turtles with Bubble Butt don’t do well in the wild, so they come to live at the hospital.
This was the highlight of the entire trip for me. (Author admission: It was even better than visiting Judy Blume’s bookstore in Key West.)
There were some brand new hatchlings among the turtles we visited…
… but my favorite was this guy. Look at that face!
Here is a sea turtle poem from the online journal Rattle.
THE SEA TURTLE