Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Soft Touch

Hanging in the shadows beneath the sleepy eaves,
the petunia pot is very sad.
No rain for days, and none in the forecast.
I’ve watered her from the pitcher,
but have not set her out on the lawn to be sprinkled from the clouds.

“Cannot I go out for a sunbath?” she cries.
“Why must we always wait for rain?”

“Oh, well,
 I say.

Yet firm and stern  and inflexible of will  am I
when wielding the cruel clippers of iron,
trimming back the everywhichwaysoutspiraling tentacles of the hedge,
and its tentacular tangles, vine-entwined.
Truth to tell, this hedge was never a favorite,
and ever since Snowmageddon bent it double,
lo these several winters ago,
it has been rather an eyesore.
I’ve been trying to train it back straight,
by selective hedging,
with some success.

Standing apart  is an old plastic trash-can
where I normally place the cuttings 
before hauling them down to the compost-heap.

spanning its brim now  is a delicate web
of sheer perfection, concentric upon concentric strand,
and shimmering at its center, a slender green spider,
with eight shining eyes.

We behold each other, she and I.

Strictly from an engineering standpoint, we must concede
that the can’s aperture is as perfect a framework for stretching a web
as ever might be found in all Nature.
And the spider, appreciatively,  has done her very best work.
To disturb this, would be sacrilege.

So I sigh, and turn aside,
then lay the cuttings on the ground by the hedge,
like flowers on a loved-one’s grave.

~     ~     ~

[Update, three days later] 
She’s still there, dead center of the web.
Still sleekly green and brilliant.
And still hasn’t caught anything, so far as I can tell.
So patient; hasn’t moved.
Well, I can be patient too.

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