through my child’s few years: shoe boxes, crayons,
frayed brushes, glue sticks dried up or nibbled away,
a shell from Jekyll Island, a baby food jar.
A third grade science project, in it is fixed
not so much the ghost crab, its habits and habitat
so otherworldly from my son’s, but his own
most mortal and familiar domain.
On this stage, the tiny crab grows colossal,
the abject object of my boy’s assigned dilemma,
her infant prey held in flight on party toothpicks.
There is no end to the ghost crab’s desire,
her appetite as immeasurable as a mother’s worry,
but he’s only drawn six hatchlings, and the ghost
will have to contend with looming there forever,
glued as she is to the diorama’s back wall
while the sugar pearls-cum-turtle eggs are buried
in a pint of sand and imagined into a swarm of sorrow.
He’s read the crab must devour them lest her species
grow ghostlier yet when the turtles return to nest.
But look how his morning glories rage on the faux dune,
and the clipart clams cluster in a painted wake,
and the sweep of the sea oats whispers sweet reason
into the bay’s boxed and ever still wind.