Sunday, March 19, 2006

Arachnophobia


(from free spider images)
I have effectively conquered my fear of spiders ... they are good creatures that eat the dreaded fly--that revolting thing that lands and vomits everywhere, leaving behind legions of ways to sicken humans.

But the spider is Charlotte who saved the pig, and the spider is the creature that in the book, When Elephants Weep, which (I learned) folds her delicate, long arms around her brood to protect them from encroaching formaldehyde.

But do we ever really overcome the sensation of dread and vulnerability that occurs when we believe we're experiencing an itch, only to find it is one of them upon us? The metaphor is far-reaching, from the depths of our primal, instinctual fears and into what we learn is a good thing, but which initially repulses us.

In consideration of this fear we have of the other, of the thing that we assumed we must squashI wrote this small poem.

SPIDERROBE

She swung her bathrobe over her shoulders like she’d swing a cape before a charging bull.
At the moment just before the terrycloth married the skin,
she felt the skip of eight legs down her spine,

like water trickling to her feet,
then running for its life away from her jintsu-knife shrieks.

Logjammed at the origin of a convulsion, that moment of springloading
prior to the traumatic spasm,

she realized that she would never feel safe putting on her bathrobe again.

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