The DMQ Review

Sharon Hudson 2003

Spiders in the Closet

We know there are spiders in the closet.
The door stays shut, except when we have to
find a score sheet, or to prove that we had
a great-grandfather who went fishing for,
and caught, a twelve pound bass with a plastic
pole from the Sears and Roebuck catalogue .

In the shielded dark, they can move and breed
and talk. Sometimes they become incautious
and someone, usually a tired child, will say,
"I heard that" but no one else will hear it.
The sound is hidden in the rush of the news
report or the hiss of a coffee pot.

The spiders learn everything they can.
Their mouths stay tight in concentration as
amber glowing eyes shift from front to back,
while they gather up confidential
information on the house; pouring
over genealogical charts, Visa card receipts
medical records, blueprints of the attic.

During a board game or a home repair
project, we will see one quick-stepping
toward the bathroom. The tap of a shoe,
a quick squirt of cologne, then the shattered
carcass is flushed or squished into the trash.
We don't worry that there are more in the closet.


Patti Marshock
Copyright 2003

Patti Marshock is a nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, specializing in work with cancer patients. She has published poetry in the online journals 2River View and Ludlow Press Poetry and in the anthology The Cancer Poetry Project (Fairview Press).

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