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Poetry by Cheryl Hart 

Cheryl has a BS in Biology and a JD from Emory University.  She lives in Georgia.




© 2004





I stomped on the spider

for it looked too large to save.

Sometimes I rescue them in a paper cup

or a paper towel and shake them loose

outside my patio door.


But it depends on their looks.

I hate that I am so shallow.

This one is too large, though I

am a giant to it.

A thicker body than the others,

or strange markings, and the heel of my

shoe it will see, without mercy.


Once the decision to kill has been made,

I move swiftly, without delay.

No time for second thoughts.

Hesitation is death for a soldier.


But I am no soldier.

And though this spider is in my kitchen,

only a few feet from my patio door,

it is too large.

I glance at it, with the coldness reserved

for something considered already dead

that must be disposed of somehow.


I am wearing white canvas sneakers

that let me approach without a sound.

Leaping forward, I stomp squarely on it.

It is large.

Bits and pieces of it still moving.


I shriek (what a poor soldier I would make),

and continue stomping, alternating

right and left, over and over.

I must be crazy, so many tiny black moving specks.

Not until I have finished

Not until all is still

do I realize what has happened.


They were babies.

Not zombie spider parts from some B grade monster movie,

moving of their own accord,

but babies from an egg sack,

carried in their mother's mouth.

I numbly recall Charlotte 's Web

and stare at the floor, hoping for a

single one to rescue.


But there are none.

My guilt cannot be assuaged today.

But tomorrow and the next day

I vow to save all spiders

that enter my house and gently

deposit them outside.

Perhaps even on grass instead of

the cement stoop outside my door.


But deep within,

I know the day will come

when I'll look down at a spider,

and with coldness or fear decide

it is too large.






The Lost Poem


Shiny phrases and liquid images

String themselves across my mind

Like colorful glass beads

In an intricate, but pleasing pattern.


But I didn't, couldn't write them down.

Dear daughter on my lap, head nestled against my shoulder

Crying over some injustice done to her by her brother,

The only source of stress in her three year old life.


Sobs obscure the words and I can't tell if he

Called her a name (like stinky cat), snatched a toy

From her hands, or pushed her off the couch.

It doesn't matter -- the result is the same.


Consolation for one,

Time out for the other

And another lost poem for me.

That unique blending of words barely known,

And hardly missed now that it's gone.




All work is copyrighted property of Cheryl Hart.



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