Here’s an oldie you may not have seen before. It’s about a spider. Sorry. Sometime in the 1990s, while I was working on the collection, THE ALLIGATOR IN MY CLOSET, I was at my desk at Glenstone Block Company when I observed a baby spider begin its life’s journey by leaping from the top of my office doorway into the unknown abyss below. Losing track of time, I stopped working to watch the long, dangerous (for the spider) event unfold as it’s tiny form played out its silken line and slowly, slowly made its way toward the floor. At any time someone walking in to see me about something would have spoiled the trip. In the wild, a quick-eyed bird or dragonfly might have made a snack of the little creature. The resulting poem was included in the book.
Baby Spider Noiselessly the spider plunges, like a diver off my door, a tiny living dot that dangles seven feet above the floor. Bungee-jumping astronaut, miniature member of its race, letting out a silver cord, works defenselessly in space. Disappearing, reappearing, lost in shadow, bathed in light, slowly inches undetected, patient in its daring flight. The floor at last beneath its feet, it ends the risky episode and sets out on a new adventure, down the carpet’s nappy road. (c) 2003 David L. Harrison
Who knows the eventual fate of the young spider. Probably got crushed beneath someone’ shoe and perished unheralded. I like to think it somehow survived and made it out the door to freedom. Either way, it had its moment, its great adventure, risked everything for a chance to live a life, no matter how brief, of its own.