Hermit Crab Uses Discarded Doll’s Head as Shell · Robbie Gamble

[UPI, Odd News, 9/7/17]

with eyelids that clatter, skitter-dragged
across tide-rills, those baby blues
pivoting to ward away yawping
seagull flank attacks.

The hermit taps its claws,
being oh so pleased with itself.

While somewhere in the dark, Ken bolts
upright in his Malibu bedroom set. He
would be clammy if he wasn’t plastic.
He would be allergic to shellfish.

Somewhere, a consumptive Prufrock
hawks an envious loogie. Only seaweed
now, no more patter of Michelangelo.

Doll-bound, submerging sidewise, to soothe
its chafing butt, and quench in brine
that damn wheezy “Maa-maa! Maa-maa!”
It has no mama, it was one of a million,
and besides, hermits live the fuck alone.


Robbie Gamble’s works have appeared in Scoundrel Time, Solstice, RHINO, Forklift Ohio, and Poet Lore. He was the winner of the 2017 Carve Poetry prize, and has been nominated for Best of the Net. He works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston.