Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Spiders' Migration

(re-posting a seasonal poem)


Spiders' Migration



Northern Hemisphere, September: spiders
come inside.  They slip through seams
to here, where summer seems to them
to spend the winter.  Their digits tap out
code on hardwood floors.  They rappel
from ceilings on out-spooled filaments
of mucous, measuring the place.  Sometimes
they stay just still.  Paused.  Poised.

It’s not as if spiders wait for us
to watch them, or even as if they
wait.  Rather, octavian motion
is so easy, syncopated, and several
that stillness surely exhilarates spiders
just arriving from the Northern Hemisphere.
It’s time for us to enter equal days and
equal nights, to pluck the filament between
fear of and fascination with spiders
moving in.


Hans Ostrom, 2012

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