Silk

They are determined to shroud our house
in gossamer, drape mantles of silvery macramé
over the Meyer lemon and the fig trees
on the deck. We hose them into tiny mounds

of dirty fiber in the corners of the windowsills.
They persist. Each evening another bridge
thread pressed from the spinneret goes
kiting, lifted in fitful waves on the night’s wind

to catch at last on a low branch or a railing,
fix itself there, tensile, taut. Morning will bring
the frame thread and the anchor, then measured
radials and the mesmerizing capture spiral.

So unvarying this architecture. So
fragile this shivering weave, bending
into a sudden gale that leaves a string
of tiny diamonds along the seams.


Karen McPherson is an Oregon poet and literary translator. She is the author of two books of poetry, Skein of Light and Sketching Elise. Her poems and translations have appeared in journals including Beloit Poetry Journal, Potomac Review, Cincinnati Review, and Descant.

Spider illustration by C.B. Auder (magazine collage, 8-1/2 x 7 inches).

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