Hermit Crab Changes Her Shell

Joanne Clarkson

Among barnacles and agates
as tides leak up the beach
she picks through litter
to choose a new labyrinth
moon spun
from the chafe and savor
of salt.

She eases, claw-leg first,
out of her cramped hull
blinded even by shadow
into new nacre

her ugly cheek
against a firm pearl pillow
borrowing beauty again
the way we all do.


Art by Daniel Toby Gonzalez

Joanne Clarkson holds Master Degrees in English and Library and Information Science, as well as being an RN specializing in Hospice and Geriatrics.