It’s late…
It’s early.
It’s 3 o’clock at night…
It’s 3 o’clock in the morning.
Hours ago I fell asleep
watching football on TV…
a sign of advancing age
and a lopsided score.
As I now take Rusty and Pepper
for their midnight walk,
a shiny glimmer catches
the corner of my eye.
I stop.
I take a step back.
It becomes visible -
an immense spider web
hanging suspended in a huge open space
cornered by corner of house,
tree limb and the ground,
with its architect waiting in the center.
What a web!
What an achievement for a one-inch big
spider to construct such a gigantic web…
Normally his artistry goes unseen, unadmired…
a temporary masterpiece completed,
then intact mere hours.
Tonight a fluke of moisture
trapped from rain earlier
and angle of light reflected
allowed this night’s web to
attract my attention.
I approach the web head-on.
Suspended in mid-air
supported by now invisible silk,
the spider looks at me
looking at him.
“Do you mind?
I’m working here.
You’re scaring away my prey.
I gotta eat.
Of course, if I could throw a web
strong enough to hold you,
I could retire and feast forever!”
“I just wanted to admire your work.
It’s really incredible! Awe-inspiring.
You must work very hard….
night following night.
You must be very proud.”
“Hey, you do what you gotta do to survive…”
I leave the spider to reap
the rewards of his work,
thinking tomorrow - today -
is Monday and I will have
my own “web to build”…. yet again…

Harry Edward Gilleland      10.26.02