Spiders Are Different

An ant will pause, maybe annoyed,
before skirting your finger and hurrying on.
A beetle will accept your hand as part of the landscape,
something to be scaled if need be.
Touch a sow bug and it will pull itself into a tiny gray ball,
refuse to have anything to do with you.
Reach for a grasshopper and it will snap open its wings
and sail to a safer weed.

Spiders are different. Beneath the shadow of your hand,
a spider will cringe, freeze in place, sometimes
raising two front legs as if in supplication.
You are the monster it has seen many times,
crashing through doorways, thundering through rooms.
Now, cornered, it can only wait
for you to notice your power.

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in coastal Alabama and believes that retirement is highly underrated. Her writing has appeared in many journals and anthologies. Her debut collection of short stories, Survival Skills, was published by Ashland Creek Press and short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award. Lovers and Loners is her second story collection. https://jean-ryan.com/

See more of Jean's work in 9.4

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