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By T. Clear

It’s taken me a lifetime to love

certain members of their family.

Taken until now to say I'm sorry

when I invade their universe, my yard.


Despite my duck-and-dive footwork

I inevitably sever an invisible silk thread

to unravel the entire lacework.

Don’t get me wrong – I still shudder


when I find one on the ceiling above my bed.

Let’s not discuss what happens next; I’m no saint.

I had a cat who left an eight-legged daily gift

eye-to-eye on my pillow, no thank you.


What is my fear if not irrational,

a memory of being held down by my older sisters

as they threatened to toss me web-ward,

a threat that disintegrated into tickling.


There was the time I was cooking dinner,

stirring a soup, when I heard the tiniest sound,

a sustained micro-eek of alarm.

I found a fly caught up mid-swaddling,


singing its death-ditty on a web

I’d not noticed in my Saturday sweep.

The spider, no bigger than my littlest fingernail,

prepping a meal, because we all have to eat.


T. Clear is a founder of Floating Bridge Press and an EasySpeak Seattle facilitator. She has been writing and publishing since the late 1970’s, and her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Poetry Northwest, The Rise-Up Review, Red Earth Review,, The Moth, Common Ground Review, Crannog, The American Journal of Poetry, Verse Daily and Take a Stand: Art Against Hate. Her book, A House, Undone, is the 2021 winner of the Sally Albiso Award from MoonPath Press. She is an Associate Editor at Bracken Magazine.

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