By A.E. Stallings
The barnacle is rather odd —
It’s not related to the clam
Or limpet. It’s an arthropod,
Though one that doesn’t give a damn.
Cousin to the crab and shrimp,
When larval, it can twitch and swim,
And make decisions — tiny imp
That flits according to its whim.
Once grown, with nothing more to prove
It hunkers down, and will remain
Stuck fast. And once it does not move,
Has no more purpose for a brain.
Its one boast is, it will not budge,
Cemented where it chanced to sink,
Sclerotic, stubborn as a grudge.
Settled, it does not need to think.
Source: Poetry (November 2015)
More By This Poet
Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone;...
The hounds, you know them all by name.
You fostered them from purblind whelps
At their dam’s teats, and you have come
To know the music of their yelps:
High-strung Anthee, the brindled bitch,
The blue-tick coated Philomel,
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