Blue Crabs

by Cameron Hunt McNabb

“You have to grab them from the back,”
My dad told me, while snatching one.
“Face to face, you are no match.”

I thought the blue crabs nice to warn
Me of their danger with bright orange,
Like my Crayola scissors’ edge.

“Maybe they only want a hug?”
I said, but he soon shook his head.
“Crabs are much too mean to hug.”

Their bright blue arms reminded me
Of plastic Easter eggs I cracked
To spill out candy from inside.

“Maybe they’re blue because they’re sad?”
I said, but he soon shook his head.
“Crabs aren’t sad. They’re not like us.”

I watched them roll across themselves
like flattened balls in the playground pit,
Just looking for some place to rest.

“Go on now and grab one quick.”
I found my blue crab in the pile
And shot my hand in, fast and scared,
To pinch her belly from the back.

“Drop her in,” he then insisted.
Into the boiling pot, she went,
Her sad eyes blinking wildly as
Her claws tried hard to hug the side,
Before she slowed down to a stop
And rested in the stainless vault.


Cameron Hunt McNabb is a fourth-generation Tampa native as well as an associate professor of English at Southeastern University. Her work focuses on her home state and has been published in the Tampa Review Online, Deep South, Steel Toe Review and Creative Loafing.