To the Spider on Our Washing Line

To the Spider on our Washing Line

Salterns Road, 30th September, 2023

They call her a common garden spider
But look closely and you’ll realise
There’s nothing whatsoever common
About her.

Her black back decorated with
A white cross in the middle and an
Intricate array of white dots like a

Her eight legs beautifully striped
In black, white and orange-brown
Like an eight-legged Pippi

She shares these same features with
Every garden spider, but like
Every garden spider she is also individually

She builds her web in mid air supported
On almost invisible thread: How does
This tiny creature manage to bridge a
Six-foot gap?

She spins out a structure of spokes
Radiating from her chosen centre:
Out of thin air her web begins
To take shape.

Then she weaves the web itself, from
Outside in, a series of ever-decreasing
Concentric circles: it takes her
About an hour.

I watch as she works, spinning segments
One by one, attaching them carefully
Using her many legs; I marvel at her

When her work is done the new web gleams
Resplendent in the morning sun
A work of fine art, a magnificent

The spider takes her stand, patiently,
Head-down in the centre, waiting to see
How long it might be before a fly drops by
For tea!

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