Barnacle

Written by: Lee Leon

The barnacle is not what you may think 
No mollusc this, no limpet dull and drab 
It's lack of adult movement hides the link 
To cousins like the lobster and the crab.

Hermaphrodite, a male and female phase
Alternate, and thus its offspring make
It's lifecycle is one which should amaze 
What follows are the forms that it will take.

Nauplius. Expelled and floating free 
Small and mobile, soft shell on its back 
It swims with other plankton in the sea 
Bottom of the food chain: just a snack. 

Cyprid. In this stage it does not feed 
It only searches with a sole intent 
To find the roost and friends that it will need 
Where it can stick itself down with cement. 

So here we are: the adult that we know 
Settled down and to its choice home bound 
Mature it still has those wild oats to sow 
Priapically, it still can get around.