The Hermit Crab Writes to the Woodpecker About People

Poor old woodpecker
tried the telephone pole. Forty-thousand
calls, dropped into the sea

Of all the things the humans say
how much of them
have been said forever?

I am hungry. I am thirsty
I am crawling inside
something else to sleep

I can’t come to the phone right now
I am staying behind
on my own
to fidget with the mammoth carcass

Maybe its bladder
can be made into a bladder!

It’s your night to cook
Where are the hand attachments?
The forks, the knives, the spears
Why do hands make
such inadequate weapons
that we should have to
consider what we hold
before killing, before pulling off
the side of the road?

How long have words
been a part of the head?

Slanted lights
in black water, used
for tricking
smaller fish
into listening,
into getting
uncomfortably close


  1. Jeremy Nathan Marks

    Britt, this poem is just terrific. I love everything about: the humor, the acute observations, the philosophical questions. I even love the caricatures.

    I wish I’d written it. 🙂

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