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tearing the rag off the bush again
Spider Girl Tells All PDF E-mail

Spider Girl

The wind pushed the brown curled leaves across the road
In the long shadows of approaching evening
I saw spiders
Migrating from one side of the country lane to the next
Crushed under the weight of my tires
Pieces fluttered desperately in my rearview mirror
I opened the cabinet door
one shelf stocked with brown bottles
Mice, moles, centipedes
A tarantula floated in liquid
Each hair intact
“Pick me” it said
Something special for show and tell
I was sent home
Crying, I didn’t know what I had done
They accused with narrowed eyes
My mother erupted
It was a spider in a jar
Every hair intact
A beautiful creature
I didn’t understand
In her white lab coat and black stilettos
Stethoscope still curled around her neck
She took me by the hand and led me from the school
“How can people be so stupid?” she asked no one
At the Dobb’s House
Over black bottomed pie
I watched a tiny spider crawl across the counter
I put my napkin over it
And crushed it
“Did I do right this time mom?”
“Will they like me now?”
She put down her fork silently
Without expression
Speaking forward
“They will never like you.”
“Why can’t you be like everyone else?”
“Take a doll next time. A pretty doll.”
“I’ll buy you one, today.”
I looked at the spider in my napkin
A black smudge
And silently apologized
For asking it to make me better
Like everyone else
I would never be like everyone else
No matter how many dolls
No matter how pretty
Spider girl

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