Shelter in Place

My dog finds a conch nestled in the sand-
half dead, half alive- in the foaming tide,
She paws at its exposed pinkness
ignoring the hermit crab seeking shelter.

The conch shrivels beyond its lip
the scent of dead flowers pouring out,
my dog in a frenzy to taste its exotic flesh,
this beautiful creature sheltering in place.

Resisting the urge to pluck it from its shell
I pick it up and toss it beyond her scent,
beyond the fear, disease, the quarantine
I must always return to in silence.

As the shell sinks back to its home,
I now know everything dies in the sand.

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