Stewart Sanderson

 

 

The Crab Tribe

 

How lonely it must have been

at the end there

when it was just a few of them

all bilingual by that point

and none of them young

but regardless a few

who could still shape a sentence

in their secret language –

a tongue which had survived

at least one ice age

before dying, as speech does

in the west

on some rocky shoreline

leaving behind only

a word meaning crab

and maybe another

for salmon, another

for lobster, another

for periwinkle

and perhaps not even those.