Antonia Clark: Octopologia

An octopus is something I can't eat.
No matter that they tell me it's a treat,

a delicacy — succulent, delicious!
I know they're even said to be nutritious:

a good source of omega-3, protein,
and vitamins. They’re low-calorie and lean.

When threatened, they have many strategies
for avoiding octopusian tragedies,

predators, and other twists of fate
that could land them on somebody's dinner plate.

First off, they're quite adept at camouflage,
but might emit a rapid-fire barrage

of water jets or, quicker than a wink,
expel a murky cloud of blackish ink—

a clever ruse, this savvy obfuscation,
resulting in their enemies' frustration.

Craftier than many folks I know,
they open jars, solve puzzles like a pro,

and all of them, gargantuan to teeny,
get in and out of boxes like Houdini.

They're flexible and squeeze through tiny spaces.
They have amazing memories for faces,

and always seem so glad that they have found you.
They even love to wrap their arms around you.

They're smart, sly, and affectionate. Therefore,
I don’t eat octopuses anymore!

Two octopuses on lines out of water