A lot of what writing poetry is about is about paying attention. And this poem comes out of me being in the bathroom and noticing a spider in the bathtub in a little tangle of hair and then sort of expanding on that and trying to draw some meaning from it.
I have seen the Brown Recluse Spider
run with a net in her hand, or rather,
what resembled a net, what resembled
a hand. She ran down the gleaming white floor
of the bathtub, trailing a frail swirl
of hair, and in it the hull of a beetle
lay woven. The hair was my wife’s,
long and dark, a few loose strands, a curl
she might idly have turned on a finger,
she might idly have twisted, speaking to me,
and the legs of the beetle were broken.
from Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994), © Ted Kooser 1994, used by permission of the author and the publisher, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Poetry Foundation recording made on 10 July 2007, Lincoln, Nebraska