Sea Snail and Gull

by Carolin Messier

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Plucked from a pool
at low tide
by a ravenous seagull,
for a moment I could see
beyond the marina
and the sheltered cove
as it clutched the edge of my shell
and flew as high
as the douglas fir tops
lining the shore.

It sailed over the concrete dock
opened its beak
and let me fall
to the unforgiving hardness below
no embracing water
to sink into.

Damaged and stunned
I lay baking
in the noon day sun
as it swooped down
and again took me in its beak
to climb as high
as the naked mastheads
and again let me fall
to the land’s floating extension
no home for sea snails.

On impact the cracks split open
exposing my belly
where the gull picked and tore
inefficient in its gluttony
scattering shards of my once home
leaving just enough of me
to crawl to the edge
and surrender to the sea.