Poems on Gender

CRAB SHELL 

Identity 
Is kind of like a crab shell 
You can’t live without one – if you’re a crab 
It’s an interface with the outside world 
It’s a tool 
It’s protection 
And it’s also your prison 
If you keep growing, if you keep getting bigger 
Sooner or later, you have to break out 
But then you’re naked in the world 
An easy target for predators 
So without even thinking 
You start growing a new shell 
This one bigger and thicker 
Until sooner or later 
You grow a shell so big 
So thick 
That you can’t break out 
And you die inside 

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note: I first came across the crab shell metaphor in To Catch an Angel: Adventures in the World I Cannot See, by Robert W. Russell

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