needing the bathroom late at night, silently,
i feel my way through the darkness,
slowly across the bedroom floor.
being careful not to trip or bang, i’m
suddenly reminded of a childhood game, one
in which i’d attempt to silently descend
what were surely the creakiest stairs in the world
(in my childhood memory at least)
without my parents waking
- it was a game i always failed.
i switch on the small mirror light
and stare at myself staring back
with sleep filled eyes and stifled yawn,
sudden movement in the sink catches my eye,
revealing a spider, trapped, sitting, still,
caught within my sudden headlights.
i notice two legs missing on one side
and on the other, one more.
pity fills me at such a sad and wretched sight
and i wonder
if this creature is even aware of the presence
of a would-be god, looking down in contemplation
considering its fate.
i quietly fetch a glass from the kitchen, sliding
it over the spider, tilting, so that, with a scrambling of legs
it slides inside.
with silent whispers, i sooth
my newly created personification, letting it gently out,
behind the tv in a quiet place, before making my way
back to bed.
Christopher Withers's Other Poems
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