At Times Unsupported


The soft-shell crab is not a special breed;
it is an ordinary crab that has moulted its old exoskeleton.
It does this periodically.
Patiently working
its way out of its old support,
which lacks the elasticity
to stretch and fit its maturing body.
This shedding process is critical;
getting stuck means death.

When removed from its wet habitat
before a new shell has formed
and hardened, the soft-shell crab
stays weak and vulnerable.
Some would say, at their best:
a delicacy,
or easy pickings for lazy predators,
impatient, greedy, big eyes
on stalks and gaping mouths.

The soft-shell crab is an ordinary crab
that did not get a fair chance
at rebuilding a proper support.