Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sweeping Away the Spiders

At the waterfall, raw ledge
grimaces with pain. Ferns thrive
in the huge geologic wound.

The rock shadow can’t darken
the exuberance of the foam,
but it deepens by dimming the pool.

From the footbridge, we admire
the clash of plane and perspective,
the falls angling past the rock-face,

the stream flowing off somewhere
in a huff of nodding hemlock.
You admire even more the spiders

webbing the lattice of truss
supporting the bridge. Spiders
with their octet of limbs busy

mapping the world to their needs.
Spiders charting the atmosphere
to ensnare the tiny innocents

they drain of fluids and discard.
You see the webs as rococo
d├ęcor imposed on vacancy,

while I read them as evil texts
that apply as cruelly as scripture.
Here comes a youngster with broom

to brush the webs away. You’re shocked
that a summer job could involve
wiping the natural slate clean.

Who has ordered this boy to wield
his broom so people like me
don’t feel threatened by spiders

dividing the world among themselves?
You can’t watch the carnage so
we head for the car, leaving

the waterfall pulsing, the ferns
waving, and the spiders crying
as their fey architecture fails.