Humanist Voices in Verse: The Horseshoe Crabs Mating Along Delaware Bay

This week’s poem is by HNN’s Poetry Editor Daniel Thomas Moran.

Daniel Thomas Moran served as Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, New York from 2005 to 2007. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Forum, and the Poetry Salzburg Review. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine. His website is

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The Horseshoe Crabs Mating Along Delaware Bay

That old horseshoe crab,
among the oddest of creatures.
Defies those decidedly,
fond of fine features.

They’re neither crab nor horse,
you cannot eat or shoe them.
And when seen on their back,
there ain’t too much to them.

Tumbling in love, in the surf,
you might think that they’ll botch it.
But when the dinosaurs died out,
they were right there to watch it.

—Daniel Thomas Moran