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Sister Crab

(for Lynn)

by Rosanne Shapiro

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you know
and are about to step out into the darkness of the unknown ,
Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on . . .
.. or you will be taught to fly.”

– Anonymous

  • I.
    Such sensitive creatures,
    you and I, skittering sideways
    or nipping with our claws
    and then skittering away.

  • We learned these maneuvers early on –
    nature’s way to keep us safe –
    never knowing if we face the enemy
    or another scared creature.

  • We tell ourselves stories about a world
    viewed through tiny crab eyes,
    felt with antennae alert to potential dangers.
    We believe our tender souls need protection.

  • II.
    One day a wise crab asks:
    “Am I truly alive or just a shadow?
    Am I scared safe?”

  • She moves forward slowly,
    to where the earth drops off,
    where she has to go, knowing only this:

  • To not go forward would be to go back
    to a dark, airless cave
    that no longer gives comfort.

  • So she sidesteps to the edge,
    balances on the tip of her claw
  •  lets
  • GO.
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