trundle in the dying sun split crack
explosion of hard
the armor rends
the legs stop
the tail curls
the claws dig for purchase
the sun falls sullen and red and the burrow stirs,
the others come out and stretch their claws
forward, test the sand
the little one stays where it is, behind as they scramble forward
legs picking up setting down in opposite time
the little one huddles
feels wind inside the edges of what was
Wet but drying
In the silk slipstream desert wind
One claw stretches forward, waving
On the sand.
The others move away into the evening, swaying,
Struggling up eddies new from the day bake
And whistling air.
The little one
Curls its tail tighter,
The sting clacks against its hard dendrite self.
It hunches and waits
For the rifts
For the mucus to slip and pool
While its brothers and sisters shiver off into the night.