Army of Snails

Take Littorina littorea in a gray
Drought, drier and longer each June:
The snails, still and staid
As they forage, until a shelled platoon

Oozes in curt formation up past
The lip-line of the black brine marsh.
10,000 snails cut stems that outlast
Hurricanes. The mollusks are impartial:

The snails will take all that they need.
They are certain, though they are slow,
Until the hip-high, duck-yellow reed
Fronds are mud flats, sticky and low.

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