AN ELEGY FOR OYSTERS

. . . by the great Irish poet Seamus Heaney:

Alive and violated
They lay on their beds of ice:
Bivalves: the split bulb
And philandering sigh of ocean.
Millions of them ripped and shucked
and scattered.

We are eating oysters again, and will be until April, the last month with an r in it until next September . . . but we must remember that each of their alien, unfathomable lives is precious, not to be taken lightly.

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