by Angeline Farrow
while early morning
is still clinging to the glass;
tired eyes gathered in droplets,
stiff muscles gently dripping,
I watch a spider’s web breathe:
stretched from the mirror
to the driver’s door.
I wipe away the morning dew
clearing the vision of my past.
I need clarity in this half-light,
to know that I made the best decision.
But the early morning is unforgiving,
the sun sits low enough to judge,
low enough to have seen me naked.
The spider’s web clings to my skin now
holding on like ageing guilt
or relentlessly painful secrets.
I can see the space where it used to be
where tattered rags of it remain
pulled apart, the seams split open.
The day lies on the road ahead;
mapped out before I arrived,
ordered into white lines
that come and go
And still the web clings
to the warm palm of my hand
to everything that I’ve done.
And I can only pretend
there’s no blood on me
because the past is as long as my shadow.
And through the dwindling days of autumn
it grows even longer still:
Stretching out, and waking early.
Angeline Farrow has severe arachnophobia and every day she prays the spider stays hidden behind her wing mirror and doesn’t get into the car.