NaNo(inPo)WriMo #14 Argiope aurantia

14. Argiope aurantia

Over the pile of ripened manure
in the weeds at the end of eternal rows
of big-as-dinner-plates red
tomatoes the garden spiders spun
themselves dizzy wrapping flies.

Huge, they were, huge enough to name
and fear. Huge enough to test
with ever-larger bugs thrown into

their zippered webs. Though there were
flies enough for a thousand spiders our
tributes were never rejected, spun into silky
shrouds as we watched, envy and horror
and sweat trickling down our spines
in the vegetable garden beside the pony
lot under the bonfire of the summer
sky.

Bigger than our hands. 108898437.KMr6yugE

Big enough to absorb the bounty
of the summer of the seventeen year
cicadas, webs sagging with the riches
of the harvest. Big enough, when met face on

not to scurry but to quake
in place, vibrating the web and weeds
bound in it, preparing, we knew, to
launch for our eyes. Flinging the sacrifice
of the seven grasshoppers into the web
we fled and fell panting assuring ourselves
the gift had been enough to redeem sticks
poked stupidly when we were young.

One dew morning captured crickets in hand I stared
hard at one empress in her just-woven glory. Staring
back from her back was a sharp-edge’d skull. I fed
her the full nest of pink mice I’d found for myself
though, grieving, knew there was no enough to keep
the death she bore

from boring into me.

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