Valuable Lessons Learned on Delaware Bay After the Horseshoe Crabs Came Ashore to Spawn

By Michael Derrick Hudson

They look like the Devil’s codpiece.
They look like the Shield of Achilles.
They look like George Washington’s last boot heel.

Oh sure, noggins get cracked, the meat tweezed out

in a glut of shrieking seagulls. Always sun-vexed
throughout their frantic scrabblings

they suffer the dried-out gill, the blotted eye,
the heartbreakingly feeble clench

of an expiring mouthpart. But still they deposit
what they can of their sorry clutches,

their dabs and globs of purpose, spotting the world
with their gluey yeses. Satiated,

doomed, happily they nibble
at their own nutritious backwash, feel around with

their feelies. Tipped-over. Busted. They look like
The Battle of Berlin. They look like the Last Days
of Brontosaurus. But they persist.

You know, they persist.


Michael Derrick Hudson lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Boulevard, Columbia, Fugue, Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, Triggerfish Critical Review and Washington Square. He was co-winner of the 2014 Manchester Poetry Prize. His poems won The Madison Review 2009 Phyllis Smart Young Prize, River Styx 2009 International Poetry Contest, and the 2010 and 2013 New Ohio Review contests.

Originally published in NOR 8

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