Never watched a spider before killing it before.
There were three
lined up across the sill, having made homes
from the two-inch height and foot-long width
between the floor-and-blinds, and wall-and-wall.
I looked at the middle one; it was moving.
At first all three suspended seemed like
family; either maiden sisters or
a mother (the middle one, most buxom)
with two daughters. Three women,
twenty-four thin legs, seventy-two
joints so delicate and fine.
My favorite girl was
doing something strange with hers.
Three of her pale-green limbs kept bending
as if caught deep in exercising grand pliés.
She kicked so vigorously I thought
for a second she must be dying.
But the control!—each of the three
returned to her face (or chest; my eyes
are not that good), and seemed to slide
along a fourth, something like a cat cleaning,
or a young girl with a sore leg.
I couldn’t tell if it was ritual or purpose.
One of the sisters started running
and freezing along the web
between them. I imagined her head cocked
cautiously toward me, a protective spirit.
The other stood stock-still, giving the impression
of a third act or final movement,