Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

My father asks me why the
Turtle crossed the road,
A riddle to test my memory
Because he's presented the same joke
Dozens of times.
He knows he has posed the challenge before,
Often starting with
I might have told you this already,
Which is almost always true.
The real puzzle is whether I should
Stop him,
Or halt him early enough.
If he gets too far into the brainteaser
I don't have the heart to
So I pretend it's fresh,
Throwing my head back
Laughing loudly and
Slapping my leg.
But I often jump in quickly to say,
Yes, you've told it
Many times
Don't you remember?
It's infuriating to hear the same riddle
Over and over,
Told the same way
And now so ingrained in my mind
That I dream about the damned turtle,
Following it to its ordained destination,
Helping it avoid cars.
Such honesty makes him sad.
I always regret it.
I should give him the joy of telling a fresh joke,
Let him have his silly old riddle
And allow the tired turtle
To cross the road
To get to the Shell station.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: Damien Naidoo

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