She skirts the ditch which would convertHer shell into a serving dish. (10-11)
It's a turtle's worst-case scenario: lying in a ditch on your back, totally exposed to predators. Talk about trapped! So far the turtle has somehow managed to avoid this fate: her life, as well as her freedom, depends on it.
[…] She livesBelow luck-level, never imagining some lotteryWill change her load of pottery to wings. (12-13)
In many ways, the turtle seems caged by circumstances, and what caged creature doesn't dream of flying free? But the turtle can't imagine such freedom. She's had so much bad luck, she doesn't expect it to change. But do her low expectations mean that she's given up? Is it possible to find freedom, even within the narrow boundaries of a turtle's life?