For my dear friend and fellow composer, Abbie.
Many years ago there was a party (House warming? Birthday, perhaps? Or was it all for the tortoise?) for Abbie. We were asked to write poems to commemorate the occasion and the naming of her newest housemate, the tortoise. I remember the wooden balconies, nerdy jokes about The Hague (because the house was on Hague Ave. in St. Paul), and playing Apples to Apples and getting into (perhaps too into) the lobbying side of the game. I learned a year later that this lobbying/propaganda/persuasion element might have been a house rule. I also learned later that at some point I had accidentally pocket-dialed my mom. I discovered this later that night when I checked a voicemail from her that said "Noey, just calling to see what’s up. I received a call from you earlier this evening but all I could make out was that there were many giggling girls in the background and that you were being very charming. Hope all is well and call me if you need anything. Much love from your mums!"
And then the other day, while flipping through some old notebooks, I came across my dedication to Milton. Milton the tortoise. Abbie’s tortoise, Milton. And here it is. For you, Milton. To be read with the utmost respect and grandeur.