It is a snail
Withdrawing the tip of its head
Into this stony shell.
Poking its nose out, blink-ing
its eyes, removing itchy sand
Moving inside this hard resilient cover
For protection against barbs
It plods through life, secure
In this shell, fashioned by words
And sometimes by empty silence.
But you never knew. You took it
For a piece of gravel
And trod on it.