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Tribute to the Spider
Gretchen Friel


You are not inconspicuous,
but substantial, black, and husky
front and center,
a fuzzy, shuffling size-of-a-dime spider
on my kitchen placemats,
those small jungles of fruits and leaves.
You’re so talented at being invisible,
why do you risk recurring
for days at my breakfast coffee
and solo pasta dinners?
Eventually, I will be serving
a meal you know
to other people, and
how awkward will that be?
“Paul, Carly, this is Ed.
Ed, this is Paul and Carly.”
I can’t leave a spider
not one I’ve allowed to live
next to the salt,
among the English essays,
behind the napkin caddy for
what, half of April now?!
My son hates spiders, after all,
and he’s home so rarely.
Plus, what would he think about
me keeping a pet arachnid?
So Ed, I implore you,
seek shelter on the screen porch,
spin a myriad of dreams
beside my bedroom sill,
live free and eight-legged
among the cedars
or behind the garbage bins.
I have received your noble
Native American message
of creativity and I submit.
You’ve conquered me.
I will finish my book.
Now go,
or you’ll be the one I reference
on my upcoming dedication page,
“Many spiders died to bring you
this message.”

© by Gretchen Friel.
Used with the author’s permission.

Gretchen Friel teaches English, German, and creative writing to high school students in Northern Illinois, where she lives with her husband. They have five adult children between them, and four grandchildren. Most recently, Gretchen has written a poetic memoir and is sharing one poem at a time on her Instagram site: @rescuedpoeticmemoir.



Post New Comment:
Silly but very interesting too. Thank you.
Posted 04/02/2019 05:44 PM
Lori Levy:
Posted 04/02/2019 02:08 PM
I'd like to introduce Ed to my daughter's Annie. Great poem!
Posted 04/02/2019 11:23 AM
Sarah Russell:
Oh, such a delightful ode! I hope Ed returns the favor and kills all the creepy-crawlies that come unwanted into your abode.
Posted 04/02/2019 10:09 AM
Curds and whey!
Posted 04/02/2019 08:54 AM
Larry Schug:
Zounds! What a great poem. We're also spider lovers in our house and we'd never hurt one, though in the summer capture them and put them outside on a flower. We co-inhabit the house in winter. this poem captures a great story. I wish you and Ed all the best.
Posted 04/02/2019 08:37 AM

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