"Sonnet to the Giant Pacific Octopus, Eating a Crab"
by: Jamie McNeely



Even though a captive on display,
she stalks the Dungeness as skilled once-queen
of wild dominions, pouncing on her prey:
full ninety pounds of boneless fist pristine.

With rasping tongue, she drills into its shell;
salivary papilla exudes
its dissolving poison, kills as well
as simplifies digestion of her food.

The paying public pushes, peers through glass,
squints toward her darkened corner as she feeds,
then taps and tries to coax her out. How crass
to interrupt fulfillment of her needs!

At last, she casts them midden, lays her eggs,
her threat the severed carapace, the legs.

Copyright © 2001 by Jamie McNeely.