shumbled amid the sand,
jolting in the currents.
Clamped around yourself
like murderous hands
tightening steel around throats
gravely spitting gravel
and ruminating, rotating.
Silt settles on your fore-brow.
There are plenty of fish in the sea;
they kiss the shell curiously
and dart away, afraid.
You remain with jaw clenched,
with spine curved hard,
with shoal grey defences up,
shaking under the temper
of an unjust ocean,
trying to keep your broken fingers
clenched fierce around the cracks.
You keep it safe,
beneath rubble and bone,
and you are so afraid of breaking it
that you convince even yourself
that it's not there -
but while you screw your eyes down,
shutters against the cruel pervading green,
all but you know
that the oyster has a pearl.