GRANDMOTHER IS A CRAB

Grandmother is a crab, crook-legged
on eight high-heeled shoes.
I am too quick for her. She limps off
but only as far as she must,
leaving her scratch in the sand.
Then back she comes
in another uncomfortable colour,
to bluster and snap at my bare toes.

Grandmother's pool burns green
and shrunken at low tide. The sun
sucks half her water up. What's left
is crusty at the rim
and so salt it hurts her.
Her eyes are red. She crackles.
But night and the underside of the sea
roll in for her, like cold blankets.

Grandmother says she can dance
and not stop knitting. With a click
of leg-needles, she lifts off
into the oxygen blue,
scattering pretty new things.
I bite my lip and taste
Grandmother's gritty crab-seeds,
caught in my loose carapace of hair.