by Colette Bryce

When the tide withdraws
like a jeweller’s cloth
to reveal a mile
of glittering rocks,

what’s not to love?
What’s to stop
a human like you
in coat and gumboot

clambering out
to the furthest reach,
as near as dammit
to the sea floor?

What’s to prevent
a human like you
from choosing a spot
on the planetary rocks

to live,
resolute as a limpet
sits tight
in its home scar?

The hermit crab
in its hermit shell.
You in your skull,
your pulsing fontanelle,

the North Sea
creeping up on you
again, fingertip
by fingertip, ready

to pounce