napowrimo day 11


She has never feared spiders

but the female slipping
down a slice of web
in the shower
terrifies her.
Not the sting of venom,
not the eight legs crawling her wet breast
but the not knowing
how to help.

What do I do?
The uncertainty strands her at the far end of the tub.
How to save this mother
babies riding in her belly
or on her back.
The wet woman
can’t be sure without her glasses,
but instinct tells her this skydiver is a mother
and there are children involved.

She holds out a razor,
an instrument of purchase
for the eight waving legs
(surely they are waving,
not drowning,
not yet),
but the spider refuses,
swings like an acrobat
out and back
coming to rest on the towel bar.

Shaving her twin legs after the rescue-
she watches her own blood
catch in the drain’s lip
lose its color
until it is nothing more than shower water,
the shin-skin she nicked
as dead as the cells she shed
beneath her ring finger
all those years.


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