I saw the snapping turtle,
roughly the size of my hand open,
pausing on the center line
crossing route one,
not the bypass, but heavily traveled
and no place for me to pull over.
I raced home
with the story and my son
took his bicycle and his messenger bag
and rode quickly (hopelessly) back.
In fact, he found her
and she had made it to the other side,
a blessed and unaware recipient
of so many very sharp-sighted drivers,
dodging and swerving.
But she could not make it
over the curb,
and he lifted her up,
walked her in several feet to safety.
And so her journey continued
on a path leading
soon to another dangerous road,
but my son, who has studied testudines,
says that carrying her
somewhere she does not want to go
is futile. She will return.
In the parable Jesus tells now
it is my eyes,
the quick action of many motorists
attentive, willing to swerve,
a young man’s immediate response,
lifting up, not carrying away,
that reminds us it takes not one
but a whole road-full of samaritans
and that we need,
together, to be neighbors.
(Luke 10: 25-37 in the United States immigration trauma)