The Saga of the Barnacle


An autobiography

Barbara was a barnacle —
unwilling to get moving.
She sat and she stewed and
grew rough around her edges,
stuck stubborn amidst high tides
and searing rays
and sea storms that blustered for days.
She was drowning but her glue didn’t give,
howling with the blue of each vicious wave,
and in the calm bits,
she slouched and stared,
daydreamed of fresh waterways.

She wanted to be a crab —
scuttling and hustling,
beady eyes swivelling,
never missing a thing.
Scrappy legs always on the go,
resistant to stop or slow,
pretty peach shell aglow
and fierce fat claws for show.
Barbara wished upon a starfish
and bosh, bash, bish,
she got her crab permit.
Variety: hermit.
She sprouted legs
and pegged it,
across sands in search of a shell.

And here she is.
Nice place,
can’t complain…
Could do with more space,
and truth be told
she’s afraid
she’ll be barnacled again.
Not a lotta wiggle room;
she might have to relocate soon,
but if she wriggles out of this dwelling
and hot-foots it to a bigger shell it
means she must feel the fear
of her soft flesh exposed
to the vast expanse of ocean.
The first time had freaked her,
sent her tweaking,
leaking tears
and ringing ears.
She can’t shake the temptation
to stay stuck and safe,
but the coil of Barbara’s shell
corkscrews tighter by the day.
Its twists and turns are oppressive,
She longs to wriggle free of her
lifestyle repressive,
to wish upon another starfish
for her next evolutionary trick.

Barbara wants to be…
a lobster —
juicy-tailed and bougie.
Claws tough enough to
leave bones crushed.
A marine queen,
briny royalty,
A crustacean of class,
a mellow sea-fellow.
An arthropod to aspire to.
She’ll get there.

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