Today's poem is by C. J. Sage

Western Sand Dollars

They poise their mouths
open to tide's handouts,
wedging just a bottom edge in the sand.

Erect, their clout
is in their densely-packed beds,
together flouting rips and undertows,

a Starry flounder's eager bite.
Their bodies seem one massive
rout, mouthed against the tide,

downing sand just to keep standing.
Eclipsing the dollars' clout,
the sea's big stars scout the ocean ground,

all arms and hungry bands of mouths,
open for the tidy handouts.
Heavy-handed clouts, by predators

or storms, threaten bouts of mass mortality,
and so some days require, instead, self-burial,
the silvery rounds flattened, smothering into silt,

nature's brand of off-the-edge obscurity.
But mostly it's stubborn age that finally lands them—
mouths open to it all.

Copyright © 2015 C. J. Sage All rights reserved
from Subtropics
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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