June 14: The Finch Response

Galapagos’s tortoises maintain
An interesting reflex when a bird
Alights upon them, it’s as if the brain
Declares all other stimuli deferred-

They haul their massive carapaces high
As short and stump-like legs will them allow,
With necks upraised, gravity to defy,
As still as figurehead upon ship’s prow.

This unresponsive state lets native finches
Pick off the shedding skin and parasites
Upon its most discriminative inches
Sans inadvertent startling into flight.

Yet sleep’s descent I cannot yet allow
While wings of inspiration brush my brow.

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