The girl scrunched her nose at
the hatchery, the fishy smell.
Her mum led her inside.
Aren't lobsters interesting?
A tank filled with dirty water.
Those aren't mud flecks, Mum said,
Those are babies.
Lobsters grow throughout their lifetime.
The next tank had fewer flecks
and the one after that had things that looked like lobsters.
The girl stared at the curves of their shells,
the curves that would be their pincers.
They arrived at the nursery,
large lobster mothers sheltering busy babies
crawling back and forth beneath stiff, still figures.
Mum drew daughter close.
The last lobsters were huge, one per tank,
men in aprons standing over them.
Occasionally an antennae twitched,
a pincer closed and opened.
The girl gripped her mother's hand
and they hurried out together
past cartoon lobsters collecting donations:
a pound each for the privilege.
At the car, the girl touched the window
while Mum watched, hand on the key,
wondering just how big they would be
in half a century.