Poems of the Week

Byssussed Out

by Julia Griffin

“Sea silk: the world’s most exclusive textile is being auctioned this week:
The ultra-rare material made from fibers—byssus—harvested from giant mollusks was once the height of fashion, for items such as the hat going under the hammer in New York”
—The Guardian

From out the ocean’s cool abyss
Ascends the silky byssus
To make a hat which cannot miss:
A marvel for the missus.

No worm’s secretions spark such pride;
No oyster’s are more prayed for;
Those mollusks must be mollified
By what their tresses trade for.