On Fat Crabs

The crab pot is so full that
the fat crustaceans are at each other
fierce claws tearing at sibling shells
as though they were the bait

There’s a season in our lives
when we realize we too are trapped
by the very thing we aimed to obtain
Then we’ll bite our own flesh

For every one to make the broth
ten get tossed back belly-up to sea
to scavenge the dark seabed alleys
for the scraps of others fortune

Even in death their hollow eyes
stare back out of the empty skulls
Too much makes a crab shell hard
Hard shells make for fat crabs

It’s better to stay a little crab
in the large sea of things that are
Wash up one day on a sandy shore
by waves white belly to the sun

” . . . And the glasses which finally fit him, through which
he looks to see you looking back—two mirrors which flash and glance—
are those through which one day you too will look down over the years,
when you have grown old and thin and no longer particular,
and the things you once thought you were rid of forever
have taken you back in their arms.”

~ Ted Kooser


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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4 Responses to On Fat Crabs

  1. SalvaVenia says:

    Godd advice there in the end … :)


  2. SalvaVenia says:

    Good advice, of course!


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