Saturday, April 11, 2009


"Hermit crab"

A drifter, or a permanent house-guest,
he scrabbles through the stones, and can even scale
the flaked palm-bark, towing along his latest
lodging, a cast-off periwinkle shell.
Isn’t he weighed down? Does his house not pinch?
The sea urchin, a distant relative,
must haul his spiny armor each slow inch
by tooth only — sometimes, it’s best to live
nowhere, and yet be anywhere at home.

That’s the riddle of his weird housekeeping
– does he remember how he wears each welcome
out in its turn, and turns himself out creeping
unbodied through the sand, grinding and rude,
and does he feel a kind of gratitude?

--Craig Arnold

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