I admire their geometrical patience,
the tidy way they wrap up leftovers,
their willingness to be the earth's
most diligent consumers of small bitternesses.
Sometimes at night I hear them
casting silk threads, clicking their spinnerets,
plucking their webs like blind Irish harpists.
I can almost taste the fruit of the fly
like sucking the pulp from a grape.
But when their webs on the ceiling
begin to converge, and the floor
glitters with shards of insect wings
I drag out the vacuum
and poke its terrible snout under the sofa,
behind the radio—everywhere,
for this is the home of a human being
and I must act like one
or the whole picture goes haywire.
Poem: "Vacuuming Spiders" by Charles Goodrich, from Insects of South Corvallis. © Cloudbank Books, 2003. Reprinted with permission.