A woman reaches a point in her life: she finds herself on the porch with her feet up on a crate. Tea roses bloom though she did not tend them this year. She stares as if she is a stranger to this world. She will not look for angels floating up from morning grass. A more exact science is enacted before her: ivy that seemed to have died in winter's painful freeze climbs the fence again. A green spider builds a net between the rails. So many writers want this to mean something. Want everything singing with significance: the paint on the rail - that it is white, that it peels, that flecks have landed in drifts at her feet. But she no longer wants songs filled with breath, with longing, floating off. She forgets passion, thinks of the reliable bulbs underground doing their silent work in darkness. She no longer asks why so many seasons, slack and bitter. She does not consider winters gone by, nor those not yet invented. Bright spikes of thistle twitch in her yard. A spark of light appears in the air before her - iridescent wings of a dragonfly. It darts close to the new web, snags it like a random twig. The dragonfly leaves. The green spider rebuilds her net between the rails. The woman thinks: This is the way of things. And now, here is the wind. (first appeared in Poetry East)
Kathleen Lynch writes poetry, fiction, and essays. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area where she serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose State University.