June 30, 2020

Jul 1, 2020

Image: Barbara Ryther

Molting Poem

Barbara Diamond


I cannot feel my skin and hair fall off,

But all of us are crumbling creatures still.

Consider now the crab, the snake, the frog,

The lobster, lizard, goldfinch, bighorn sheep.


All molt their outer layers to grow again.

Crustaceans, form a new, soft shell within.

The birds shed feathers while they grow some more.

The dogs lose hair in spring and fall – or more…


At least , they say, it does not hurt to molt.

The birds may itch; the snakes feel too exposed.

For us the transformation seems so mild.

In general, hair and skin slough off unseen.


Our cousin beasts prepare for their new lives.

For us, the present moment is the thing.

We try to see the Spirit when she comes.

But might we grow new skins for novel times?


And should we learn to throw off useless shells,

Or drop our winter fur so we stay cool?

And at the last, let go our mortal souls?

Should we, like them, prepare ourselves to molt?