The Lost Egg of Carretta Carretta

by Lynn Woollacott

The locals whisper of her nesting site:
the golden sands of Kaminia beach.

She paddles through dark watery dunes
under a moonlit archway,
isolated in a historical time warp
of flippers, shell and beak-like lips.

In the cool of the night-shift,
photographers shuffle and watch
the slushy breakwater.
She appears like a fossilized rock
with ancient eyes that blink in the shadows.

Bright light pierces the beach like mortar fire
again and again over crumbling sandcastles,
littered with cigarette-butt soldiers.

Barnacles phosphoresce on their burdened home,
she slips back into deep water.

At dawn, in a liquid turquoise world,
I hold in the palm of my hand
the last of her lost eggs
like a small unblemished moon.
Snatched by an undercurrent,
tumbled into a reef,
cracked, weeping
and irretrievable.