the Shell

by Molly Drake

Living grows round us
like a skin,
to shut away
the outer desolation

For if we clearly mark
the furthest deep,
we should be dead
long years before the grave

But turning around
within the homely shell
of worry, discontent
and narrow joy,
we grow and flourish
and rarely see
the outside dark
that would
confound our eyes

Some break the shell

I think that there are those
who push their fingers
through the brittle walls
and make a hole

And through this cruel slit
they stare out across
the cinders of the world
with naked eyes

They look both out and in
Knowing themselves
and too much else besides


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