Glimmer of What She's In For
We’re naturalists on Sunday morning because the sun
Has shone just so and lit up the orb web the spider spun
With its zigzag signature, and there it is near the edge—
Monstrous, yellow and black, not hidden by the hedge
It hangs near, and my daughter, so unlike her, wraps her arms
Around me and asks whether its teeth, venom can harm us?
I haven’t a clue and so retreat to the bookshelves to find
Argiope among the harmless ones—the writing spider who wends
Her way—the male is dull, small—until the first frost
Kills her, but not before she’s laid her sac of eggs
Inside the web, and the male has died from having sex,
His corpse sometimes eaten, sometimes not, by her. Just
As I finish reading this aloud, I hear my daughter cry
Almost inaudibly as she tugs some at her training bra.