I step tentatively at first.
But the shells are too many
to avoid the crunch under my feet.
I long to rush to your rescue:
gather you in my shirt, protect you
from a world too cruel
for your fragile existence.
Like the potato bugs who-
in my youthful eyes- were vulnerable
to church-goers’ towering heels,
I collected my beneficiaries
and found them new homes.
In Styrofoam cups, nested with torn grass
and good intention.
Just like the critters,
you find your end
beneath my [misplaced] feet and care.
in the wounded shells and upturned rocks-
more real than any woven story of refuge.
I fear: it is me
from whom you need saving.