as published in The Crusader, Waldorf College Literary Journal, 2014
Spiders are fine by me as
long as they mind their business
while I am minding mine.
But sometimes, maybe about two or three times a year,
I find a spider minding her business where
I am minding mine.
If I feel threatened and, if help is nearby,
I yell for assistance, deferring responsibility for
the spider’s life to the whims of my assister.
Other times I choose to ignore the spider,
counting on the fact that she will return my good favor
by ignoring me the remainder of her spider days.
But then there are days like today when
I employ a now decades-old skill first discovered after
my oldest child’s birth.
I transform into a ferocious warrior armed
with whatever I can grab.
I move quickly, before I lose will, motivated by
one powerful accusation:
Don’t harm my children.
Then, staring at what might remain, I attempt to avoid
this disquieting consideration:
Was she thinking the same?
– Joy M. Newcom