The Way of it

A tiny crab, dead
beside my boot, snags my attention.
It is a good ten yards
from the water. Did it merely dry
when the tide crept back,
or was its young spirit rebelling
the liquid life,
turning toward the creosote tracks?
Did its mother arch her claw
and motion, "Come, come,
the sea is leaving,"
or are crabs separate and solitary
in their watery devotion?

Was it misjudgment of the sun
one afternoon
or the surge of unexpected element
that left him dry and red
with shallow breaths
among the sandstone?
Did his brother wait, is he here
along this beach,
or did he abandon you
with a slow drip
back to the sea?

Tiny crab, you are
too light:
your thin meat was not enough
to sustain you.
Let me carry you to the water,
float you toward your
second life.