(June 4, 2012)
This morning, as I stood
in the portico, welcoming
students to their last school-day,
I saw a spider, gently, deliberately,
Unspinning its web, one sticky strand
At a time.
It wound the threads
Back into its spinnerets
Like a sailor coiling ropes
Into the lazaret,
Reefing the sails
Against the coming storm.
What a storm, too:
Glowering black clouds,
Fierce black frigates
Before the wind, gunports open,
Showing menace to the spring,
and setting all at hazard:
Nearby newspaper told
Of unemployment up,
Markets down, war and threat of war,
And yet, into this gale,
My little spider with arms akimbo,
Gathered in her remaining silks,
And wove a single spinnaker.
She leapt from the schoolhouse porch,
Direct into the roaring jaws of the day.
Stiff breeze filled her silken balloon,
And she sailed outward to a complex
Uncertain destiny, equipped only
with what she’d just finished gathering in.