The terror is in the way it holds you.
Eight months pregnant,
I hang a clothesline in the back lawn.
In the nursery window, a garden spider
embraces its tightwoven prey. Anonymous
in gauze-white. Moth, horsefly,
creature that thought it had given
wide berth the arcing legs,
the center-poised X. They become husk.
My clothespins like the barn swallows,
on the wire between our home
and the distant, unseen next.
Renee Emerson’s poetry has appeared in Boxcar Poetry Review, Apple Valley Review, and 236. She teaches poetry at Shorter University, earned her MFA from Boston University, and is the author of three chapbooks, most recently “Where Nothing Can Grow” (Batcat Press). She lives in Georgia with her husband and one-year-old daughter.
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